Some people in Texas and elsewhere may find the terminology of estate planning to be somewhat confusing. For example, a will and a living will are two very different things. A will is a testamentary declaration that legally states the testator's instructions for distributing his or her assets at death. A living will is a legal declaration addressed to one's health care providers telling them how to handle one's treatment during a last illness.
The living will may instruct the doctors what to do with life support protocols when the person has become brain dead. Other terminology of note is the distinction between different types of powers of attorney. The durable power of attorney gives the authority to a person's appointed agent to act in his or her behalf to conduct all business affairs during a period of incapacity. This is different from a health care power of attorney that authorizes one's agent to be responsible for health care instructions and decisions.