Texas End of Life Guide

Advance Directives 

Advance Directives are legal documents that allow you to make known your end-of-life care ahead of time. The state of Texas recognizes your right to decide the terms of your own medical treatment and to assign a person to make those decisions when you are not able to do so. 

Here are some important questions to consider before beginning this process:

  • Is this document(s) state specific? Yes

  • Does this document(s) need to be notarized? No

  • Does this document(s) require witnesses? If so, how many? Yes / 2

  • Can you legally use Aging With Dignity's 5 Wishes Doc? No

In the state of  Texas, there are two separate forms required for a complete Advance Directive - A Living Will and a Health Care Proxy form. Click below to download these forms:



(Source: Texas Hospital Association)

Death With Dignity

Death with Dignity laws allow the dying more control of their death and end-of-life decisions. These laws allow terminally-ill, able-minded state residents to request and receive prescription medication to hasten their death. 

In Texas, Death With Dignity legislation has not been passed nor submitted under a House or Senate Bill

Designated Funeral Agent

Texas law supports the appointment of a designated funeral agent to follow through on your written personal preferences (see below) or make funeral arrangements on your behalf if no written preferences are indicated.

Texas law Sec. 711.002. (g) states that "a person may provide written directions for the disposition, including cremation, of the person's remains in a will, a prepaid funeral contract, or a written instrument signed and acknowledged by such person." 

The appointment of a designated funeral agent will override the next-of-kin's usual authority and let the citizen designate whom he/she wants to control the disposition of his body.


Financial Assistance

Texas does not offer any state wide burial benefits and although some counties do, they're mainly geared towards deceased veterans.

See our Financial Assistance Chart for more details.

Home Funeral

Home funerals, or family led funerals, are 100% legal in Texas. Your family or appointed agent may care for the deceased and handle all your funeral arrangements and necessary paperwork (permits and certificates) without a funeral director.

Check with the National Home Funeral Alliance for up-to-date details on how to navigate home funerals in Texas.

Personal Preference Law

Personal preference laws for body disposition obligate your survivors to follow your written [or verbal] personal preferences. This often goes hand-in-hand with designating a funeral agent to follow through with your funeral or body disposition preferences. 

In Texas, your personal preferences are protected by Texas Health and Safety Code 711.02. You shoul write down your wish and share them with your spouse, next-of-kin, or designated funeral agent.