What is a Power of Attorney?

Nov 4, 2020 | Legal Topics

power of attorney

Most of us shudder at the thought of being unable to make decisions about our own affairs. The reality, though, is that many people become incapacitated at some point in life. If that happens to you, you do have a legal remedy to make sure decisions made on your behalf are in your best interests and in line with your wishes.

It’s called a power of attorney.

What Authority Does a Power of Attorney Have?
While each state accepts the legal notion of a power of attorney, the rules and guidelines for them differ from state to state. Here in Texas, there are several forms of powers of attorney, each of which can be beneficial depending on your needs.

  • Medical power of attorney. If you’re incapacitated or unconscious, a medical power of attorney is authorized to make decisions about your health on your behalf.
  • General power of attorney. Although their authority ends when you pass or become incapacitated, a general power of attorney is typically used to help you make financial decisions in line with your best interests. This can include having access to your bank accounts or selling real estate interests on your behalf.
  • Durable power of attorney. This version of the power of attorney has exactly the same authority as a general power of attorney. The only difference is a durable power of attorney’s authority extends beyond the moment you become incapacitated or when you revoke their authority.
  • Special power of attorney. With this version, you limit the area to which your power of attorney has authority. For example, your special power of attorney may be authorized to deal with debts only, managing your property, or handling your bank accounts.

To determine which power of attorney makes the most sense for you, it’s best to speak with a Houston attorney you can trust. Our legal team is ready to hear your story and provide you with the best course of action for your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Create a Power of Attorney in Texas?
Under Texas law, anyone 18 or older and of sound mind can create a power of attorney. The term sound mind means that you are capable of understanding the full impact of signing the power of attorney documents and the authority it gives to the agent who is to act on your behalf.

Who Should Serve as My Power of Attorney?
Because it’s you who is ultimately responsible for the acts your agent makes on your behalf and in your name, you need to be especially careful about the person you select to serve.

Does My Agent Have Control Over My Decisions?
No. Even if you sign power of attorney documents, you can still make decisions on your own behalf. Also, your agent is only authorized to make decisions you want to make. Even though you’ve signed a legal document for someone to act on your behalf, you’re still in control.

Can I Revoke My Power of Attorney’s Authority?
Yes, you can revoke their authority at any time as long as you’re mentally able to understand the impact of revoking it. ?

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only. The provision of this material does not create an attorney-client relationship between the firm and the reader and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and the contents of this newsletter are not a substitute for legal counsel. Do not take action in reliance on the contents of this material without seeking the advice of counsel.

The information contained in this blog may or may not reflect the most current legal developments. Accordingly, information in this blog is not promised or guaranteed to be correct or complete, and should not be relied upon as such. Readers should conduct their own appropriate legal research.

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