Frequently Asked Questions About Powers of Attorney and Directives

Can I Authorize a Relative to Make Medical Decisions for my Minor Child?

I recently received a note from concerned grandparents. Their daughter had died, and their son- in-law worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week, and was often away on business trips for weeks at a time. They took care of their grandchildren in their father’s absence, but were concerned they would not have the authorityRead More

Is an Advance Directive Signed In Another State Valid in Texas?

A living will, or directive to physicians, is a document that allows you to instruct your physicians not to use artificial methods to extend your life in the event you are diagnosed with a terminal or irreversible condition. A question I often get asked is whether an advice directive signed in another state is consideredRead More

Can I Get Medical Power of Attorney Over an Incapacitated Person?

A distraught mother contacted me. Her daughter was incapacitated in an intensive care unit as a result of a drug overdose, and her drug-addicted son-in-law was in control of making medical decisions for her. Naturally she was concerned. She did not believe her son-in-law had the capacity to consider her daughter’s best interests. “How doRead More

Would You Choose Physician-Assisted Suicide If You Had A Terminal Illness?

While standing in line at the grocery store a few days ago, the cover of People magazine caught my eye. It was a photograph of Brittany Maynard, a 29 year-old woman with terminal brain cancer who has made a controversial choice to take her own life on November 1 of this year under Oregon’s physician-assistedRead More

Is an Agent Named in a Durable Power of Attorney Legally Responsible for the Debts of a Principal?

A Durable Power of Attorney is a powerful document that allows an agent, or attorney-in-fact, to manage the financial affairs for another person, called a principal. The agent is able to act only while the principal is alive. When the principal dies, the executor or administrator of an estate takes over to settle the estate.Read More

Does My College Student Need Estate Planning?

A couple of years ago, I wrote blog post titled “Three Estate Planning Documents Every College Student Needs.” The post was prompted by a Facebook page I came across, which was started by an irate mother after a nurse refused to provide her with information about her daughter who was injured in a car accidentRead More