Instructions for how you want to be treated during the final phase of life are called “advance directives.” Writing your instructions down, signing them and having two witnesses1 sign them can make them legal documents.

Below are a variety of brief forms you can use to document your wishes. Use one or more of the forms to best communicate the instructions that you want to have followed.

My Plan – Answer these six brief questions to let your loved ones and healthcare providers know your preferences for your end-of-life experience.

Texas Medical Power of Attorney – Designate someone you trust to make medical decisions for you if you’re unable to make decisions yourself or communicate them (see Part I). This person will become your legal healthcare agent.

Living Will – This document (see Part II) is specifically for instructing your loved ones and healthcare providers about the medical treatment you want to receive if you’re not able to communicate your wishes.

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order – This document is completed and signed by a physician at your request to prevent using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for restarting your heart or breathing. NOTE: When printing, print as a two-sided document. The signed form must have the instructions on the reverse side.

You also can download a free copy of “The Gift” from Community Hospice of Texas. “The Gift” is a tool to help you outline your personal information and wishes. It is designed to provide basic information to your family about your assets, liabilities and personal desires when you cannot convey that information2. (You can also have a free copy of “The Gift” mailed to you. Simply fill out the form on the bottom of this page to give us your mailing information.)

What if you change your mind after any of these documents are written, signed and witnessed? Simply fill out a new form, then sign and have them witnessed again. Tell your loved ones and healthcare agent about the changes and give the new form to your healthcare agent and physician.

1Witnesses must be 18 years or older, not your designated healthcare agent, not your healthcare provider nor an employee of your healthcare provider, and not an employee of where you live. One witness also must NOT be related to you or not be in a position to benefit financially if you die.

2“The Gift” is not intended to replace or supersede a will or any other documents signed by you. However, each family member, Power of Attorney, Executor, Trustee and Guardian can use the document in making any discretionary decisions for you and your family.

To receive a free copy of “The Gift” by mail please fill out the form below: