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Texas Power of Attorney basics

While it can be unpleasant to think about, there may come a time when you aren't able to manage your affairs on your own. A Power of Attorney grants legal permission for another person or organization, an "agent," to act on your behalf if you become unable or otherwise don't want to do so. In addition to a Will and Trust, a Power of Attorney is an important document to have in place in the event of a serious accident, a major illness, or even just a temporary time away.

Does a Power of Attorney need to be notarized in Texas?

Yes, a Texas Power of Attorney should be signed in the presence of a Texas notary public.

How long does a Power of Attorney last in Texas?

The Texas Power of Attorney will last as long as specified within the document. The powers granted in the Power of Attorney can terminate either on a specific date or upon your death.

What can you do as a Durable Power of Attorney agent in Texas?

The scope of an agent's powers will vary based on what authority is granted in the Power of Attorney document. In general, a Durable Power of Attorney form is used for the following purposes:

  • To give someone broad authorization to act for you if you are absent or incapable.
  • To give someone power to handle certain financial or legal issues in your absence or if you become ill. This can include situations in which a matter needs to be handled out of state, but you are unable to travel for any reason.
  • To authorize someone to act on your behalf if case you become legally incompetent or incapacitated.

You may designate the Power of Attorney as "general," granting broad powers to control your financial, health, legal, and other matters, or "special," granting power for only specific situations.

What are the four types of Power of Attorney?

  • General Power of Attorney - The designated agent can perform almost any act as the person granting the power, such as managing personal finances or opening financial accounts. A general power of attorney automatically terminates as specified in the document, or when the person granting the power revokes the Power of Attorney, or when they pass away.
  • Durable Power of Attorney - This document grants power to another person to act on the grantor's behalf, as described above, even if/when the grantor becomes incapacitated.
  • Special or Limited Power of Attorney - The agent has specific powers limited to a particular area. For example, a Special Power of Attorney could grant the agent the authority to sell a home or other piece of real estate in another city or state.
  • Springing Durable Power of Attorney - In some states, a "springing" Power of Attorney is available and becomes effective when a specified event occurs, such as when the principal becomes incapacitated, thus "springing" into action.

The Texas Power of Attorney is specific to the laws of the state of Texas and should be made by residents of Texas and signed in front of a Texas notary public.If you have questions about a Power of Attorney in Texas, talk to a lawyer for advice on your specific situation.

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