Nolo's Texas Health Care Directive FAQ

Can I use this form if I do not live in Texas?

Nolo’s Texas Health Care Directive is for people who expect to use it in Texas. You can make this form if you live in another state, but only if you expect to receive medical care in Texas.

This Texas form may be valid in other states, and it may help convey your wishes. However, it will not be familiar to health care practitioners in other states, and it may cause confusion about your wishes because the laws of other states may give different meanings to the terms in this document.

If you expect to receive medical care in a state other than Texas, make a health care directive specifically designed for that state. You can get health care directives from a local attorney, your doctor, or a hospital.

You can also consider making a health care directive using Nolo's Quicken WillMaker. With WillMaker, you can make detailed health care directives (living wills and powers of attorney) that comply with your state's laws.

Can I make health care directives for more than one state?

If during the course of the year, you live in more than one state or if you plan to get medical care in a state other than your state of residence, you may wonder if you should make health care directives for each of those states.

Unfortunately, the solution to this difficulty is not as simple as making a set of documents for each state. Often, you can't have two documents simultaneously in force because creating a new health care document will often revoke an older one.

If you have concerns about this issue, get help from an attorney.

Does Nolo use Texas statutory forms for its health care directive?

Yes. Nolo’s Texas Health Care Directive includes two Texas statutory forms: Medical Power of Attorney Designation of Health Care Agent (Texas Health & Safety Codes §166.164) and Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates (Texas Health & Safety Codes §166.033).

In several ways, Nolo’s form goes above and beyond what the statutory forms provide. For example, we provide helpful information and guidance as you complete your forms. Some of these health care issues are tricky and filling out the flat forms (without help) leaves many people wondering whether they’ve done it right. Nolo provides clear help to make sure you understand every question, so that you can provide the answer that is right for you.

Also, the statutory forms provide a few blank spaces for you to fill in your wishes, and Nolo’s versions of the forms provide plenty of space for you to convey all of your thoughts. We’ll even prompt you on a few issues, so that you can get a sense of what might go in those blank spaces.

What issues does this form cover?

This form covers the following issues straight from the Texas statutory forms:

  • your name
  • the name and address of your agent (and alternates)
  • limitations on your agent’s authority over your health care
  • your choice about whether you want your life prolonged in two specific dire situations
  • whether you want to donate your organs, tissues, or other parts, and
  • if you do, which ones and for what purposes.

Additionally, Nolo will prompt you for information about (all optional):

  • the location of the care you receive
  • your personal or religious values
  • your wishes for palliative care, and
  • any other wishes.

Does this form provide a health care power of attorney and a living will?

Yes. In Texas:

Nolo’s Texas Health Care Directive provides both forms.

Each state decides what its medical power of attorney and living will forms are called. You can learn more about health care directive terminology in this article about types of health care directives.

Can I make this form for someone else?

No, you cannot make this form for another person, but you can help that person make the form for themselves.

The person must be of sound mind and must direct the answers to the form. But you can do the job of reading the questions, typing in the answers, producing the document, and helping acquire witnesses or a notary.

If you are helping someone else prepare health care documents and that person is too ill or weak to sign them, you or another person may sign the documents at his or her direction. The person making the document and the signer should appear together in front of the witnesses and/or notary so that someone can observe the signing and confirm, if it is ever necessary, that it is what the document maker wanted and directed.