Advance Healthcare Planning
Advance Directive Texas

Advance Directive Texas


Jennifer Mcgee


Updated on  

March 17, 2023

8 Mins


When a person chooses to make a Living Will, along with the Medical Power of Attorney, these two legal documents become an Advance Directive. 

An Advance Directive may include your sign, names of witnesses, their signatures, etc. in adherence to your state’s requirements. Every state has different requirements to be followed. Some states ask for witnesses and notaries, others look for different criteria to be followed. 

Likewise, some states consider Living Will and Advance Directive as different and separate documents, whereas others consider both documents the same. In some states, Living Will and Advance Directive are used interchangeably. 

In this article, you will get a complete guide for making an Advance Directive for Healthcare in Texas.  

Legal Requirements for a valid Advance Directive

  • Written by the grantor (maker of an Advance Directive): Yes
  • Grantor must be:
  • Above the age of 18 years: Yes
  • Sound mind and memory: Yes
  • Signed by the grantor: Yes
  • Signed by Proxy/Agent: No
  • Proxy/agent accepts his role in writing: No
  • Witness required: Yes
  • Number of witnesses: 2
  • Signed by the witnesses: Yes
  • Number of documents required: 1 
  • Other names for a Living Will in Texas: Living Will
  • Other names for a Healthcare Power of attorney in Texas: Durable Power of attorney 
  • Proxy can decide on mental health issues: No
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Who can be your witnesses in the Texas Advance Directive?

Anyone can be your witness in Texas if;

  • He is an adult i.e., above 18 years of age, and
  • He is a sound-minded person which means that he can understand the consequences of making an Advance Directive and the laws applied to it.
Advance Directive Texas

Who can be your Proxy in the Texas Advance Directive?

Anyone can be your Proxy/Agent in Texas if;

  • He is an adult i.e., above 18 years of age, and
  • He is a sound-minded person which means that he can understand the consequences of making an Advance Directive and the laws applied to it.

Who cannot be your Proxy/Agent:

  • your supervising health care provider, 
  •  if you are receiving care at a community care facility/residential care facility then its operator or its employee.
  •  if you are receiving care  at a health care institution then its employee.

Other than the above legal requirements, the Proxy/Agent should be:

  • Trustable to adhere to your wishes and intentions.
  • Trustable to defend you if there’s any disagreement about your medical care.
  • He wanted to be your Attorney in Fact of his own free will to take care of your health affairs.
  •  He should not be your doctor or one of the caretakers.

Note: You can appoint an Alternate Proxy as well. The alternative Proxy/Agent will step in if the first person you name as a proxy is unable, unwilling, or unavailable to act for you or if you decide to revoke his authority.

When does an Advance Directive come into effect in Texas?

In Texas, an Advance Directive becomes legally binding but doesn’t come into effect on signing the form by the grantor, proxy, and witnesses. An Advance directive comes into effect only when the doctor declares that you are incapable of deciding on your behalf and have become debilitated due to illness or injury.

Note: Your Texas Advance Directive will not be effective in any medical crisis or emergency. Ambulance and hospital emergency department personnel are required to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) unless they are given a separate directive that states otherwise.

How can an Advance Directive be revoked?

You can revoke or terminate your Texas Advance Directive anytime by:

  • A written revocation,
  • An oral revocation, and
  • Tearing, burning, and obliterating or destroying the document in any other way.
  • Executing a new Advance Directive.

Note: Revocation of the Advance Directive to be effective you or your witness to your revocation must convey and notify your doctor and healthcare agent.

Learn about the requirements of Texas Last Will and Testament and Texas Last Will and Testament Template.

How to amend or change an Advance Directive? 

You can make changes or amend your Advance Directive at any time in Texas but once you have signed and witnessed/notarized it you have to complete a new document with the required changes. It is recommended to go through, double-check, and make sure of everything before signing the Advance Directive.

Texas rules for divorce after making your Advance Directive 

Divorce from the spouse will not make any effect on the validity of the Texas Advance Directive unless the spouse was named under Section 2 (Appointment of Healthcare) as the Proxy/Agent, the divorce or annulment of marriage will revoke the Pennsylvania Advance Directive with immediate effect. Then you have to make changes and fill a new document of Advance Directive. 

If you prefer that no effect should be there on the Advance Directive and want your spouse to continue to be your agent after marriage or on divorce, you can reaffirm your health care representative’s appointment in writing.

Texas rules for pregnancy after making your Advance Directive

A pregnant patient’s Texas Declaration will not be honored if it is possible that the fetus could develop to the point of live birth with continued application of life-sustaining treatment.

Unless life-sustaining treatment will be a barrier for the development and live birth of the child, will be physically harmful for the mother, or will cause her pain that cannot be eased by medication.

Form 1 of the Texas Advance Directive 

There are two legal documents/forms in Texas. An Advance Directive is Form 1 (which includes Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney) that allows you to refuse the medical treatment you would or do not prefer if there comes an event you lose the ability to make decisions and appointment of an Agent/Proxy.

Form 2 is Texas’s “Organ Donation,” form which allows you to make decisions regarding organ donation, whole body, and the final disposition of your remains. 

Section 1 of Form 1: Power of attorney for health care

You can fill this form out and provide all the details. The appointment of the Healthcare Proxy/Agent and his details will be filled along with the instructions for the Proxy/Agent to follow.

Texas Advance Directive Sample Form


I, , appoint: 

(name) (name of agent) (address) (work telephone number) (home telephone number) 

as my agent to make any and all health care decisions for me, except to the extent I state otherwise in this document. This medical power of attorney takes effect if I become unable to make my own health care decisions and this fact is certified in writing by my physician.


If the person designated as my agent is unable or unwilling to make health care decisions for me, I designate the following persons to serve as my agent to make healthcare decisions for me as authorized by this document, who serve in the following order: 

A. First Alternate Agent 

(name of first alternate agent) (home address) (work telephone number) (home telephone number) 

B. Second Alternate Agent 

(name of second alternate agent) (home address) (work telephone number) (home telephone number)

The following individuals or institutions have signed copies: 

  1. Name: Address: 
  2. Name: Address

Section 2: Individual’s Instructions (Living Will)

This section states your wishes regarding medical care when your doctor determines that either:

  • that you are terminally ill and to prolong artificially your life you would need artificial life-sustaining procedures or your death will occur with or without the use of life-sustaining procedures, or 
  • that you are in a persistent vegetative state.

Texas Advance Directive Sample Form


I, _____________________________ _, recognize that the best health care is based upon a partnership of trust and communication with my physician. 

My physician and I will make healthcare decisions together as long as I am of sound mind and able to make my wishes known, 

If there comes a time that I am unable to make medical decisions about myself because of illness or injury, I direct that the following treatment preferences be honored: 

If, in the judgment of my physician, I am suffering with a terminal condition from which I am expected to die within six months, even with available life-sustaining treatment provided in accordance with prevailing standards of medical care: 

I request that all treatments other than those needed to keep me comfortable be discontinued or withheld and my physician allow me to die as gently as possible; 


I request that I be kept alive in this terminal condition using available life-sustaining treatment. (THIS SELECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO HOSPICE CARE) 

If, in the judgment of my physician, I am suffering with an irreversible condition so that I cannot care for myself or make decisions for myself and am expected to die without life-sustaining treatment provided in accordance with prevailing standards of care: 

I request that all treatments other than those needed to keep me comfortable be discontinued or withheld and my physician allow me to die as gently as possible; 


I request that I be kept alive in this irreversible condition using available life-sustaining treatment. (THIS SELECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO HOSPICE CARE)

If I do not have a Medical Power of Attorney and/or have not filled out Part I, and I am unable to make my wishes known, I designate the following person(s) to make treatment decisions with my physician compatible with my personal values: 

1. (name of person) 

2. (name of second person)

Section 3: Introductory remarks on Healthcare decision making

This section of the Texas Advance Directive form contains an introduction that describes the uses and effects of this form and general provisions regarding what form allows you to, the competency of the healthcare representative to make decisions, revocation when your Advance Directive will be effective, etc.

This section provides that in Texas law your health care agent and health care providers are protected from any legal liability if they act in good faith to follow your wishes as expressed in the form or by your health care agent's direction. 

However, it does not otherwise provide them an escape from their professional responsibilities or excuse any negligence while your wishes are followed.

Section 4: Execution

You must sign in the presence of two witnesses. The details of the witnesses along with their signs are also required.

Texas Advance Directive Sample Form


Alternative No. 1: Sign Before Witnesses 

(signature) (date) (your name) 


WITNESS 1 SIGNATURE: ___________________________ Date: _______ Printed name: ___________________________________ 

WITNESS 2 SIGNATURE: ___________________________ Date: _______ Printed name: ___________________________________

Alternative No. 2: Sign Before a Notary Public

(signature) (date) (your name) 

State of Texas,  County of 

On this day of 20_ , before me,

a notary public in County, personally came _, personally known to be the identical person whose name is affixed above, and 

I declare that he or she appears in sound mind and not under duress or undue influence, that he or she acknowledges the execution of the same to be his or her voluntary act and deed. Witness my hand and notarial seal in such a county the day and year last above written. 


Form 2: Donations of Organs at death

Texas Advance Directive Sample Form


I do not want to make an organ or tissue donation and 

I do not want my attorney for health care, proxy, or other agent or family to do so. 

I have already signed a written agreement or donor card regarding organ and tissue donation with the following individual or institution: 

Name of individual/institution: 

Pursuant to Texas law, I hereby give, effective on my death: 

Any needed organ or parts. The following part or organs listed below: 

  • Any legally authorized purpose. 
  • Transplant or therapeutic purposes only. 

Declarant name: 

Declarant signature: _ _, Date: 

The declarant voluntarily signed or directed another person to sign this writing in my presence.______

Witness 1 & 2 Signature: _______________________

Date: ____________________________

Give photocopies of the signed original to your agent and alternate agent, doctor(s), family, close friends, clergy, and anyone else who might become involved in your health care. If you enter a nursing home or hospital, have photocopies of your document placed in your medical records. 

Be sure to talk to your agent(s), doctor(s), clergy, family, and friends about your wishes concerning medical treatment. Discuss your wishes with them often, particularly if your medical condition changes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Advance Healthcare Directive Texas?

An Advance Directive is a legal-written document about your future medical care. It is a gift to family members and friends so that they won't have to guess what you want if you no longer can speak for yourself.

Does an attorney have to draft an advance directive in Texas?

The procedure of creating advance directives is simple, you do not require an attorney though you may choose to consult one. However, an advance directive either it is written or oral needs to be witnessed by two individuals.

Who makes medical decisions if you are incapacitated in Texas?

Under Texas law, incapacity means when a physician declares that the individual can longer give informed consent. Any person may designate someone to make health care decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated in Texas.

What are the 2 major challenges with advance directives?

Advance directives have limitations. For example, an older adult may not fully understand treatment options or recognize the consequences of certain choices in the future. Sometimes, people change their minds after expressing advance directives and forget to inform others.

How do I get a medical power of attorney in Florida?

It is the same as creating a document of Advance Directive. Firstly, choose Your Surrogate/Acting Agent, be specific on what decisions your Power of Attorney can make for you, and fill out your Florida Medical Power of Attorney Form. Lastly, sign your document before subscribing to witnesses and a Notary Public.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Attorney. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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Jennifer Mcgree
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