Legislative Changes: Healthcare Power of Attorney

Estate planning clients are strongly encouraged to review their planning documents at least every five years or so, or as major life changes occur (think divorce, death, kids aging up to majority, etc.).  In addition, every few years the Texas legislature sees fit to make changes to planning documents.  This year, legislative changes will impact both the Statutory Durable Power of Attorney (“DPOA”) and Healthcare Power of Attorney (“HCPOA”).  A prior article discussed the changes to the DPOA.  These are the changes to the HCPOA, which will become effective as of September 1, 2017.

  1. The agency authority is automatically revoked in the event of divorce.
  2. The mandatory disclosure statement is now contained in the body of the document.

The following is not a change this year, but is pertinent information for those persons who have medical powers of attorney or advance directives from other states. Texas is one of only 17 states that does not recognize “Five Wishes,” a brochure that combines surrogate decision making with a medical power of attorney and palliative care choices.  Texas’ execution requirements for both the Advanced Directive and HCPOA render Five Wishes and other similar as instructive only.  If you or someone you know relies on documents executed in other states, it would be prudent to update them with documents reflecting Texas law.

The lawyers at Wyatt & Mirabella, PC are highly skilled in discussing all theissues and considerations surrounding the HCPOA and other life-planning documents you will want as a part of your plan.

This article is written by an attorney at Wyatt & Mirabella, PC. Always consult an attorney before making any legal decisions. To make an appointment today for a free consultation, please click here to contact us.