How to Plan for the Future


  1. Advance Directives

    1. OOHDNR (Instructions): An Out-of-Hospital DNR is a legal form that tells emergency medical professionals not to start or continue certain life-saving procedures. DNR is short for "do not resuscitate." Resuscitation is when someone who has stopped breathing and whose heart has stopped beating is restored to consciousness If you are not in the hospital and have a medical emergency that makes you unconscious, emergency medical professionals (EMS) may be called to help.
    2. OOHDNR (Form to be completed):
      1. Is free
      2. Does not affect your will, estate, or finances
      3. Does not affect your health or life insurance premiums
      4. Is signed by your doctor
      5. Applies only to certain procedures given by EMS, hospital emergency room personnel, nursing home staff, or other health care professionals
      6. Allows you to have some control over how much medical treatment you receive and for how long
      7. Does not prevent treatment and medicine to reduce pain
      8. Does not allow mercy killing or assisted suicide
      9. Does not require a lawyer or notary to complete
      10. Can be canceled (revoked) at any time, regardless of your mental state
      11. Out-of-Hospital DNR Order: Information and Answers | - Providing Free and Reliable Legal Information & Forms for Civil Legal Issues in Texas
    3. Medical Power of Attorney (English): Relationship that is created by a patient and a person that accepts the designation of being able to make health care decisions on their part, only at the time you are unable to make the healthcare decisions for yourself. (Notary or 2 witnesses required).
    4. Medical Power of Attorney (Spanish): Relación que es creada por un paciente y una persona que acepta la designación de poder tomar decisiones de atención médica por su parte. (Se requiere notario o 2 testigos).
    5. Durable Power of Attorney: notary required.
    6. Living Will: A living will is a legal document that tells others what your personal choices are about end-of-life medical treatment.
  2. How to pay for Long Term Care:

    • Many people think that Medicare will pay for their long-term care expenses, but this usually is not true. Instead, people have to rely on their savings, long-term care insurance or Medicaid to cover the costs. And while Medicaid pays for the largest share of long-term care services, to qualify your income and assets must be below a certain level and you must meet the minimum state eligibility requirements. To find out if you might be eligible for Medicaid or to apply for benefits, visit Some people use a combination of payment sources. 
      • Note: Texas is required by federal law to have a Medicaid Estate Recovery Program. This means that if you received Medicaid long-term care services, the state of Texas has the right to ask for money back from your estate after you die. In some cases, the state may not ask for anything back, and the state will never ask for more money back than it paid for your services. (HHS.GOV)
  3. Common payment sources include:

    1. Personal Resources: This includes your or your loved one’s savings, investments, or assets.
    2. Long Term Care Insurance: As with other forms of insurance, long term care insurance allows a person to pay a known, affordable premium cost to protect against the risk of much larger care expenses. Long term insurance is designed to meet long term care needs that may include a variety of medical, personal, or social care service
    3. Medicaid: The cost of a nursing home in Texas ranges from $3,000 to $4,000 a month (University of Texas). If you do not have much income or other resources, Medicaid may pay for a nursing home. You can talk to a Texas Health and Human Services employee about Medicaid. You will have to live in a nursing home for 30 consecutive days before you can apply for services.
  4. End-of-Life Planning 

    1. Preparing for a FuneralOne of the more difficult things you may ever have to do is plan a funeral. This booklet, along with the Hope Hospice staff, is designed to help you by providing information, written and verbal resources and community contacts as you progress through the planning of a funeral or memorial service.
    2. Planning with Hope: A majority of Americans do not have their "ducks in a row" in terms of end-of-life plans or having things documented. This tool is a guide for you and your family to consolidate information about advance directives, your will and other executed documents, medical history, financial information, your wishes for your funeral, as well as a checklist for survivors to follow in the weeks after someone's passing. This document has fillable fields or may be printed out and handwritten.