A sound estate plan often includes a power of attorney document.
Putting a power of attorney in place or establishing a healthcare directive in your estate plan enables a representative of your choice to make financial or health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so for yourself.
In Texas, when discussing power of attorney, we are commonly referring to two different kinds of powers of attorney: a medical power of attorney and a statutory durable power of attorney.
Medical Power of Attorney
A medical power of attorney allows you to designate another person to make health care decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Typically, when executing a medical power of attorney, you will also complete a living will or advance directive. A living will addresses complicated issues. It allows you to make certain medical decisions in advance, taking the decision making burden off the shoulders of your family and loved ones.
Statutory Durable Power of Attorney
A statutory durable power of attorney allows you to designate another person to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. That designated person can typically make a wide array of financial decisions for your benefit if you are incapacitated, including but not limited to: filing your taxes, handling your assets, and paying your bills.
Who Can Create a Power of Attorney?
Any person that is at least 18 years of age is able to create a power of attorney. However, there are a few legal requirements:
- The person executing the POA must be of sound mind
- It must be filed with the clerk of the county where your property is located (if you are entrusting this person with your real estate transactions)
- The POA must be signed, dated, and notarized in front of a notary
- It must include one of two statements:
- “This power of attorney is not affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal.” This enables immediate authority and classifies your record as a durable power of attorney
- “This power of attorney becomes effective on the disability or incapacity of the principal.” This also classifies your record as a durable power of attorney, but the authority will not be given until you or your loved one becomes disabled or incapacitated
A power of attorney can also end or be revoked. Instances where a POA would end include:
- If the document has an ending date
- If you become incapacitated (and the POA is not a durable one)
- If you revoke it
- If revoking a POA, you are responsible for informing your agent or caretaker that you are revoking the power of attorney
- Preparing a sworn written statement is highly suggested
- You must also be mentally sound in order to revoke a POA
- If a guardian is appointed
- If you pass away
Put a Power of Attorney in Place with Lovelace Law
Planning for your future needs is crucial to protect your assets and save your family from making difficult choices. At Lovelace Law, P.C. we are experienced in drafting powers of attorney and living wills. We will take the time to listen to your needs, review all of your options, and help you understand the legal ramifications of your choices.
Contact us Regarding Power of Attorney in Burleson and Fort Worth.
Contact Lovelace Law, P.C. today with any questions you may have about powers of attorney. Your initial consultation with us is free of charge. Call us at 817-953-9656.