DISCLAIMER:

  • The contents of this webpage and any links on it are provided as general legal education only and not intended to be, nor should they be, viewed as personal legal advice.
  • When time permits you may need to consult with a lawyer for personal legal advice about your situation and appropriate planning recommendations and documents.
  • Please note that these forms and accompanying information are tailored to comply with TEXAS LAW ONLY.

These basic estate planning forms are available to medical providers and other essential workers who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are sharing information for emergency estate planning and to help relieve any undue stress that may be caused by not having these documents, such as a simple Will, in place. Feel free to share this webpage and spread the word among your colleagues so they can also benefit from these forms and resources.

The webpage provides:

  • planning forms for your signature;
  • summaries of the forms; and
  • additional lawyer video explanations.

You may wish to print, complete and sign these documents to put your affairs in order. Most of the forms provided are derived from statutory versions passed by the Texas legislature, but access to the forms is granted by permission from sources to whom credit is given on the webpage, for which we are also most grateful.

These resources are not intended to be individualized legal advice and cannot compare to individually designed planning through direct consultation with your own lawyer, but we know this may not be possible during this pandemic. We hope these forms and resources will help give you and your loved ones some peace of mind until you can otherwise arrange for more in depth advice at a later time. We are grateful for your service as an essential worker and we wish you well.

Handwritten Wills

Texas Law Help’s Do-It-Yourself Guide for Handwritten Will

Handwritten Will Guide
(created by Houston Volunteer Lawyers) 

Video – Attorney Explanation on how to draft a Holographic Will (Jack Fan)
The law does not require you to work with an attorney to create a simple will. Here we provide instructions and sample language for a very simple handwritten Will that requires only the signature of the “testator” (that is, the person who is making the will) and some magic language, if the Will is entirely in your handwriting. This handwritten Will is intended as an emergency measure for use until a more comprehensive Will can be prepared by a lawyer because sometimes a more robust Will is better depending on your circumstances.

Other Helpful Resources

End-of-Life Report

End of Life Documents, Technical Report 2044, Authored by Judon Fambrough, Senior Lecturer and Attorney at Law (Retired), for Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, January 2014 (Revised February 2016)

(provided with permission of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University – www.recenter.tamu.edu)

Instructions for Execution of Documents

Execution of Documents Guide

This guide is intended for use ONLY with the documents provided on this website.

Other Estate Planning Documents

Form: Medical Power of Attorney

Video – Attorney Explanation of Directive to Physician Form
(Rebekah Brooker)
(courtesy of the Dallas Bar Association)

Description: Names an agent to make medical treatment decisions for you, should you later become incapacitated. Can avoid the need for a Guardian of the Person*.

Form: Statutory Durable Power of Attorney

Video – Attorney Explanation of Statutory Durable Power of Attorney
(Greg Sampson)
(courtesy of the Dallas Bar Association)

Description: Names an agent or agents to handle your property and financial affairs, which can be effective upon signing or only upon becoming incapacitated and allows you to grant specific or all statutory defined powers. Can avoid a Guardian of the Estate**.

Form: Declaration of Guardian
(Directive of Guardian if Later Need Arises)

Video – Attorney Explanation of Declaration of Guardian if Later Need Arises
(Greg Sampson
(courtesy of the Dallas Bar Association)

Description: Allows you to name a guardian of your person and/or guardian of your estate for the court to appoint if you later become incapacitated and to disqualify certain persons from serving as your guardian. May not be needed if you have a Medical Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney. Signing: May be entirely handwritten by you and signed without witnesses, or typed and signed with two witnesses, and may also be self-proved*** with a notary.

Form: Directive to Physicians/Living Will

Video – Attorney Explanation of Directive to Physician Form
(Rebekah Brooker)****
(courtesy of the Dallas Bar Association)

Description: Used to specify whether life support will be withheld or withdrawn when you are incapacitated and are in a “terminal condition” or an “irreversible condition.” Can avoid the need for a Guardian of the Person* if an agent is named. Signing: Requires two adult witnesses (one of whom must be qualified*****) or a notary.

Form: HIPAA Authorization

Video – Attorney Explanation of HIPAA Authorization
(Rebekah Brooker)
(courtesy of the Dallas Bar Association)

Description: Authorizes your health providers to release your Private Health Information to designated persons in compliance with federal HIPAA requirements. Signing: Requires only your signature.


*Guardian of the Person: Makes decisions regarding your body, medical decisions, etc.

**Guardian of the Estate: Makes decisions regarding your finances, real estate, belongings, etc.

***Self-proved: A self-proving affidavit is a sworn statement signed in front of a notary public by the person making a Will and his or her witnesses. It constitutes presumptive evidence that the Will was executed properly.

​****Please note, the video instructs that two witnesses sign the Directive to Physicians in addition to the notary. Our attached document does not require that witnesses sign because, per the statute, witnesses may but are not required to sign. We add this information to alleviate any confusion on the matter.

*****At least one of the witnesses for the Directive to Physicians/Living Will must be a person who is not:

(A) a person designated by the declarant to make a health care or treatment decision;

(B) a person related to the declarant by blood or marriage;

(C) a person entitled to any part of the declarant’s estate after the declarant’s death under a will or codicil executed by the declarant or by operation of law;

(D) the attending physician;

(E) an employee of the attending physician;

(F) an employee of a health care facility in which the declarant is a patient if the employee is providing direct patient care to the declarant or is an officer, director, partner, or business office employee of the health care facility or of any parent organization of the health care facility; or

(G) a person who, at the time the written advance directive is executed or, if the directive is a nonwritten directive issued under this chapter, at the time the nonwritten directive is issued, has a claim against any part of the declarant’s estate after the declarant’s death.

Ch. 166 of the Texas Health and Safety Code – Sec. 166.003