Advance directives and life insurance policies are both popular tools that can help people plan for their futures. Advance directives can give individuals more control over the medical care that they receive later in life, and life insurance policies can help them leave something behind to help their loved ones after they’re gone. When considering whether to execute an advance directive, many people wonder how it will affect their life insurance policies. The State of Texas has ensured that advance directives do not have any influence over life insurance policies. This gives individuals the peace of mind and freedom to use the estate planning tools that work best for them.
An advance directive is an order to healthcare providers and family members that tells them what kind of medical care should be provided if the individual becomes incapacitated and cannot communicate. Advance directives can include instructions to administer, withhold, or withdraw life sustaining treatment; they can also include DNRs (Do Not Resuscitate Orders) and Medical Powers of Attorney. (Texas Health and Safety Code § 166.002). Because advance directives can control whether life-saving treatment is administered, many people worry that executing an advance directive will nullify their life insurance policies and prohibit them from qualifying for a new policy.
Texas law expressly prohibits advance directives from affecting life insurance policies. (Texas Health and Safety Code § 166.006). Advance directives cannot affect: (1) decisions to issue life insurance policies, (2) terms of already existing life insurance policies, or (3) life insurance premiums. Advance directives also cannot affect whether a beneficiary will receive life insurance payments or the size of those payments.
If you are curious about planning your estate and would like to find out more about advance directives or other estate planning tools, please contact Kirker|Davis today.