Planning your estate can be an emotional and overwhelming process. But an estate plan can also give you peace of mind. 

You may have heard of a last will and testament for distributing your possessions, but this is only one part of the entire estate plan. A complete plan should appoint a person to make decisions if you cannot do so and one that addresses your end-of-life care.

Keep reading to learn about the types of documents that can be part of your estate plan. When you’re ready to start planning, consult an experienced Austin estate planning attorney to ensure you have a complete estate plan that honors your end-of-life wishes.


A will is probably the most well-known estate document. The purpose of a will is to:

  • Name an individual who will be in charge of managing your estate,
  • Name your beneficiaries—those who will inherit under the will,
  • Name a guardian for minor or dependent children, and 
  • Set guidelines on how and when a beneficiary will receive their inheritance. 

If you die without a will—known as dying intestate—the laws of Texas will dictate how your possessions are distributed and appoint a guardian for your minor children. Working with an Austin estate planning lawyer will allow you to designate the people who will care for your children after you’re gone and those who will receive your most prized possessions. You worked hard for what you have; don’t let the state dictate how your estate is settled.

Power of Attorney

Generally, a power of attorney is a document that authorizes another person—the agent—to make financial and medical decisions for another person—the principal. The agent’s authority to make decisions is based on the type of power of attorney.

  • ​​General power of attorney—the agent has broad authority to make decisions regarding the principal’s life until the principal becomes mentally or physically incapacitated; 
  • Durable power of attorney—the agent can make a variety of decisions for the principal even if the principal becomes mentally or physically incapacitated;
  • Springing power of attorney—the agent can make decisions for the principal only if the principal becomes incapacitated but not before; 
  • Medical power of attorney—the agent can make medical decisions for the principal if the principal is physically or mentally unable to decide; or 
  • Limited power of attorney—the agent has restricted authority to make decisions regarding a specific situation or period of time.

Specifying the type of power of attorney is essential to ensure your agent can act when you need them the most. Consult an estate planning lawyer in Austin to discuss which power of attorney is most suitable for your situation.

Advance Medical Directive

An advance medical directive, a living will, tells your family and doctors what treatments you want to receive if you cannot decide. This is a powerful document that can ensure you receive your desired treatment and spare your family from making these decisions. You can use an advance medical directive to address the use of breathing machines and feeding tubes as well as treatments you want to be administered if you’re diagnosed with cancer. The level of detail in your directive will depend on your medical history. Working with your doctors and an experienced estate planning attorney in Austin may be helpful when planning your advance medical directive.


When a trust is created, you transfer legal ownership of your assets to the trust and appoint a trustee to manage the assets on behalf of the beneficiaries. Revocable trusts allow you, the grantor, to change the trust during your lifetime. However, you can also choose an irrevocable trust that can’t be changed. 

As with powers of attorney, there are different types of trusts to help you plan and protect your estate. Some common trusts are:

  • Special needs trust to provide care for a disabled child or dependent adult, 
  • Asset protection trust to shield your estate from taxes and creditors, 
  • Medicaid asset protection trust specifically protects your assets from Medicaid recovery and
  • Pet trust allows you to provide money for your pet’s continued care.

A skilled estate planning lawyer in Austin, TX, can review your circumstances and advise on the appropriate type of trust to manage your assets and care.

Contact Robbins Estate Law for More Information

Our team of top-tier attorneys at Robbins Estate Law understands the importance of an enduring estate plan that can grow with your family. We are passionate about helping families ensure their children and beneficiaries’ emotional and financial security. Robbins Estate Law will customize your estate plan to address your and your family’s needs. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to your estate needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment with an experienced Austin estate planning attorney.