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Wills and Directives

This legal research guide provides information on topics such as elder care, wills and estate planning, and medical directives.

General Information


Note Wills & directives procedures may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see the Wills, Directives & Estate Planning page on the COVID-19 & Texas Law research guide for current information related to COVID-19 and estate planning.

About This Guide

Here you will find information you may need when planning for the possibility of becoming disabled or incapacitated, or when creating plans for your property, estate, or remains after you die.

If you need information about how to take care of someone else's will, property, or estate after they have died, see our research guide on probate.

Wills

A common question at the law library is: How do I write my own will?

Texas has not yet developed a standard template or form for a simple will. A state law from 2015 requires that the Texas Supreme Court develop simple will forms, but as of October 2020, these forms are still under development. Everyone's situation is different — e.g., married vs. unmarried, children vs. no children, owns property vs. doesn't own — so creating forms that take so many possibilities into account is a big task.

Writing a Will

Our library offers several e-books with templates that can help get you started! You'll need to register for a library account online first — free and available to Texas residents.

Then see the resources we highlight in our FAQ: How do I write my own will? Is there a form for that?

Understanding the Law

Estate Planning

These resources can help you understand and control what happens to your possessions after your death.  

Forms for Making Your Medical Care Wishes Known

Having your medical care wishes down in writing can help ensure they are carried out. 

Long-Term Care

These resources help you investigate options for long-term care. 

Medical Issues

Resources for handling the legal implications of major illness.

Funerals and Disposition of Remains

These resources can help you understand and control what happens to your "earthly remains."  

E-Books Available from the State Law Library

These e-books contain information on estate planning and wills. These e-books can be viewed by those who have signed up for a free library account with the State Law Library. Only Texas residents are eligible to sign up. Signing up is free.

Texas-Specific Books at the State Law Library

These print books at the State Law Library contain information on wills and directives. If you are not able to visit the State Law Library in Austin, this book might be available at a law library near you or a public library near you.

General Books at the State Law Library

Who Can I Contact?

Additional agencies, organizations and contacts that may have resources to assist you.