Why is advance planning important?
Everyone should devote time to planning for the future, such as establishing a will or estate plan to ensure that their wishes are carried out as they intended. For a person with Alzheimer's disease, advance planning is essential to fulfilling end-of-life wishes. Individuals with Alzheimer's may have the capacity to manage their own legal affairs right now, but as the disease progresses they will need to rely on others to act in their best interest.
Advance planning protects an individual's right to make their own healthcare and financial choices and prevents unnecessary suffering for families who may struggle with these decisions later on. It is a proactive process that enables the individual to make decisions about their future, along with family members, healthcare providers and legal counsel, prior to their physical and cognitive decline.
What are healthcare directives?
Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to convey your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They provide a way for you to communicate your wishes to family, friends and health care professionals, and to avoid confusion later on.
Legal documents can be prepared by an attorney. Information about directives and free forms are available through the Texas Department of Aging and Disability.
Where can I get help with legal planning?
Legal Hotline for Texans: 1-800-622-2520
The Legal Hotline for Texans offers free legal advice, self-help publications, and referrals to Texans over the age of 60 and Texans who receive Medicare. To receive services, you must be over the age of 60 or a Medicare recipient.
Fees for services are negotiated with the individual attorneys.