This is the second post in the series of several short articles that discuss several problems commonly witnessed by estate planners.  The recent George Clooney film, The Descendants, brings to light several estate planning headaches.  That’s right, Texas trusts and estate plan advice taught by Hollywood!

An article in Forbes (“George Clooney Makes Estate Planning Sexy“) first brought these Hollywood trust planning tips to my attention.

Here’s the second Hollywood lesson about trusts:

“Express your final wishes.”

As a refresher, in the film, Clooney’s character, Matt King, deals with a spouse in the hospital.  In the movie, King’s wife has expressed her final wishes to her husband with regard to medical treatment.  Several times, King tells other characters that he is bound to his wife’s medical wishes.  The wife had elected to be allowed to die comfortably if she was ever in dire medical condition, and her hospital and family honored her wishes.

This type of situation is not unique to a Hollywood script.  In the everyday world, estate planning lawyers counsel clients who may face situations like this.  The lesson to be learned here is that you should discuss these issues with your family and consider consulting with an estate planning attorney in advance.

In Texas, you can make these elections in a “Living Will” (estate planning attorneys call the document “Advance Physician’s Directives” or “Physician’s Directives”).  The Living Will document tells your hospital and family how you want to be treated if you are incapacitated and are in dire straits medically.  Knowing your wishes for medical treatment in advance is a tremendous comfort to family; not one of your family members wants to be the one to “pull the plug” unless everyone knows that’s what you want.

Also, consider attaining a Medical Power of Attorney.  This document lets the hospital know who should make medical decisions on your behalf in the event you are incapacitated.  The hospital will ask the medical agent named in your medical power of attorney which medical treatment to use.  For example, if you are unconscious in the hospital, the hospital will consult with your medical agent to help decide which type of treatment to use.

Because these two documents are so important, my law office offers them as part of an all-inclusive bundle of basic planning documents.  This bundle of documents, called the Wills PLUS Planning Package, includes a Last Will and all the medical planning and power of attorney documents commonly created for Texas clients.  You can read more about flat-rate pricing and what’s included in the package HERE.



Visit for more information on medical power of attorney, Texas Living Will, Advance Directive, Physician’s Advance Directives, or other basic estate planning documents, contact Richardson, Texas lawyer Isaac Shutt at  

Shutt Law Firm’s office is conveniently located just north of Dallas, TX, near the intersection of highway 75 and Campbell Road.


You can also call Mr. Shutt at (214) 302-8197 for more information on the topic discussed in this article or to discuss a different legal matter.  For existing clients, quick phone-calls and brief e-mails are always free at Shutt Law Firm PLLC.  Please consider the Shutt Law Firm if you’re looking for a Allen, TX law office for probate, Allen Wills Lawyer, Allen estate planning attorney, power of attorney near Allen, TX, or guardianship attorney in Allen area.


DISCLAIMER:  Nothing in this brief article constitutes legal advice.  The information provided herein is merely provided in the spirit of education.  If you have a legal question, you should consult an attorney for your specific legal situation.   Further, nothing in this article shall be construed to have started an attorney-client relationship.  No such relationship exists until both you and attorney Isaac Shutt sign an engagement letter with the Shutt Law Firm, PLLC.