What Estate Planning Documents Do You Need in Texas?
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What Estate Planning Documents Do You Need in Texas?

What makes Texas Estate Planning unique? What Estate Planning documents are needed in Texas? In this article, we'll provide key information on how you can create an Estate Plan in Texas, specifically which documents are most important!

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If you live in Texas, you can make your Last Will and Testament online. But is that the only document you need during the estate planning process? There are other legal documents that can help you safeguard your family's future. In this article, we'll discuss the most important estate planning documents for residents of the Lone Star state. 

The Importance of Estate Planning in Texas

Estate planning is important for the following reasons: 

  • First, you need to make sure that your final wishes are honored. This includes any preferences you have about end-of-life care. 

  • Second, you want to know that your family's financial future is secure. 

  • Third, you want to make the probate process as simple and efficient as possible so that your loved ones don't have too many responsibilities during a stressful time.

  • Fourth, you may want to provide long-term care for minor children or adults with special needs.

  • Fifth, you want someone responsible for managing your assets' distribution and handling your other affairs.

With those objectives in mind, let's go over the legal documents that can help you achieve your goals.

A Will  

When you pass away in Texas, the state's probate court distributes assets and debts based on the provisions in your Will. Having a valid Last Will and Testament ensures your estate is administered according to your preferences. A Will lets you name a trusted individual as the executor or administrator of your estate.  This person will be responsible for managing and distributing your assets. In contrast, when you don't have a Will, your assets and debts will be settled according to Texas inheritance laws.   

A Living Will 

A Living Will, which is also called an Advanced Care Directive, is a legal document that outlines how you want to be treated in the event that you become incapacitated. A Living Will gives your physician guidance on how to handle your medical treatment. This may include instructions on life support, resuscitation orders, and pain management. Don't confuse a Living Will with a Medical Power of Attorney, or "POA." A POA appoints another person to make decisions on your behalf. A Living Will, on the other hand, is a communication directly from you to your physician. If you have a Living Will, your family will not have to make difficult choices about your care. Living Wills also help alleviate family strife since no one will be able to disagree about what you would have wanted. 

Living Wills aren't just for people who are elderly or ill. A Living Will is like an insurance policy for younger adults too, who may experience an unexpected event like a serious accident. FastWill advises all Texas adults to create a Living Will along with the other estate planning essentials detailed in this article.

Durable Power of Attorney

A Durable Power of Attorney, known as a POA, is a legal document that designates a person to act on your behalf in financial, legal, or medical matters. The person making the Texas POA is known as the "principal," whereas the person given the authority is known as the "agent." Once the POA becomes effective, the agent will be able to act within the scope of the conditions laid out in the POA. 

Medical Power Of Attorney

A Medical Power of Attorney is a kind of POA, but it does not deal with financial matters. It enables you to name a person who will make important healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are incapable of doing so. These decisions include medical treatments, including what care you do or do not want home healthcare arrangements, and decisions regarding nursing home placement. The agent's authority only becomes active when you are legally unable to communicate your wishes. Medical Powers of Attorney are not exclusive to older people. Life can be unexpected, and a Medical POA is a way to make sure your wishes are known if you experience a sudden injury or illness.  


A trust is a legal arrangement in which you transfer assets to a trustee, who then manages those assets for the benefit of the trust's beneficiaries. There are many types of trusts, and they can be used for various purposes, such as avoiding probate, minimizing taxes, and protecting assets from creditors. Not everyone needs a Trust; however, they are appropriate in certain circumstances. For example, trusts can assist in providing lifetime support to a dependent with special needs while preserving their eligibility for public benefits. In those situations, a Special Needs Trust might be appropriate. A Special Needs Trust is a legal arrangement designed to manage and protect assets for the benefit of a disabled individual without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. Trusts can also benefit families with assets spanning multiple states or those contemplating a future move. 

Create Your Texas Estate Planning Documents Online

You can make your estate planning documents that are legally valid in Texas as long as you are at least 18 years old and of sound mind. FastWill's estate planning platform can help you meet all the requirements of Texas law without the involvement of a lawyer. 

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