You may have been asked (or told) about having a power of attorney designated to someone who will handle your affairs if you become incapacitated. It is important for you to lay the foundation of your estate and for you to appoint someone whom you trust implicitly.
Exactly what is a power of attorney?
A power of attorney, or POA, is a document that gives authority to another person (also known as the agent) to decide or act on behalf of the person who is designating (or the principal) if they should become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for themselves. In the state of Texas, there are several different types of POAs that will enable the other person to act on behalf of the incapacitated person. You will need a specific type of POA, depending on your unique situation.
- General Power of Attorney: This is a document that permits someone to act on behalf of the person if they become incapacitated. This type of POA is considered broad and the agent has a fair amount of power to make decisions. This type of POA is in effect:
- Until the designated end date has arrived.
- Until the indicated task is completed.
- When the principal dies.
- When the principal is deemed incapacitated.
- Until the principal revokes the POA.
If you are wondering why you might need a POA, it is an important document to have in place if you are capable of making decisions but you wish for someone else to carry out those decisions. Without that authority, the other person will not be allowed to work with you in that capacity. It is important to understand that the POA is important before the end of the person’s life, when they are still able to function normally.
Another type of POA
There is another commonly used POA, which is known as the limited POA. This type of POA will allow the principal to bestow the agent the right to make a small number of decisions, which are specifically designated by the principal. Two examples of that are matters concerning a vehicle (buying, transferring, and transitioning the title) and handling all matters concerning tax collection.
If the principal wishes to revoke the POA, it is their right. In that case, there is a form to complete, which is available from the state.
An attorney’s solid advice
If you are planning your estate and wish to create a POA, the advice of an experienced Texas estate planning attorney may make your experience go smoothly. Your estate plan is essential because it allows you to designate what and whom you wish to benefit from your estate. A POA (or several POAs) is an important part of your estate plan and the attorney’s advice may help while protecting your rights and those of your loved ones at the same time.