What is a Texas Power of Attorney?
The person granting control is known as the "principal," while the individual or organization receiving powers is known as the "agent" or "attorney-in-fact." Suited for residents of Texas, our Power of Attorney is made for use in Tarrant County, Harris County, Dallas County, and in all other counties and municipalities throughout the state. All Texas Power of Attorney forms from Rocket Lawyer can be personalized to address your unique situation. As a result of having this essential legal document, your representative can offer confirmation to financial institutions and other parties that they can act in your interest.
When to use a Texas Power of Attorney:
- You wish to give someone broad authorization to act for you if you are absent or incapable.
- You wish to give someone power to handle certain financial or legal issues in your absence or if you become ill.
- You wish to authorize someone to act on your behalf if case you become legally incompetent or incapacitated.
GENERAL POWER OF ATTORNEY
NOTICE: THE POWERS GRANTED BY THIS DOCUMENT ARE BROAD AND SWEEPING. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE POWERS, OBTAIN COMPETENT LEGAL ADVICE. THIS DOCUMENT DOES NOT AUTHORIZE ANYONE TO MAKE MEDICAL AND OTHER HEALTH-CARE DECISIONS FOR YOU. YOU MAY REVOKE THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY IF YOU LATER WISH TO DO SO. IF YOU WANT YOUR AGENT TO HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO SIGN HOME EQUITY LOAN DOCUMENTS ON YOUR BEHALF, THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY MUST BE SIGNED BY YOU AT THE OFFICE OF THE LENDER, AN ATTORNEY AT LAW, OR A TITLE COMPANY.
You should select someone you trust to serve as your agent. Unless you specify otherwise, generally the agent's authority will continue until:
(1) you die or revoke the power of attorney;
(2) your agent resigns or is unable to act for you; or
(3) a guardian is appointed for your estate.
I, , residing at , , , appoint
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS APPLICABLE TO AGENT COMPENSATION:
Each of my co-agents may act independently for me.
|-||Create, amend, revoke, or terminate an inter vivos trust|
This power of attorney continues until I revoke it or it is terminated by my death or other event described in Subtitle P, Title 2 of the Texas Estates Code.
I agree that any third party who receives a copy of this document may act under it. Termination of this power of attorney is not effective as to a third party until the third party has actual knowledge of the termination. I agree to indemnify the third party for any claims that arise against the third party because of reliance on this power of attorney. The meaning and effect of this power of attorney is determined by Texas law.
Dated ____________________, ______, at , Texas.
STATE OF ,
COUNTY OF , ss:
This document was acknowledged before me on __________ (date) by (name of principal).
(signature of notarial officer)
My commission expires _____________
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR AGENT
When you accept the authority granted under this power of attorney, you establish a "fiduciary" relationship with the principal. This is a special legal relationship that imposes on you legal duties that continue until you resign or the power of attorney is terminated, suspended or revoked by the principal or by operation of law. A fiduciary duty generally includes the duty to:
|(1)||act in good faith;|
|(2)||do nothing beyond the authority granted in this power of attorney;|
|(3)||act loyally for the principal's benefit;|
|(4)||avoid conflicts that would impair your ability to act in the principal's best interest; and|
|(5)||disclose your identity as an agent when you act for the principal by writing or printing the name of the principal and signing your own name as "agent" in the following manner:|
|(Principal's Name) by (Your Signature) as Agent|
In addition, the Durable Power of Attorney Act (Subtitle P, Title 2, Estates Code) requires you to:
|(1)||maintain records of each action taken or decision made on behalf of the principal;|
|(2)||maintain all records until delivered to the principal, released by the principal, or discharged by a court; and|
|(3)||if requested by the principal, provide an accounting to the principal that, unless otherwise directed by the principal or otherwise provided in the Special Instructions, must include:|
|(A)||the property belonging to the principal that has come to your knowledge or into your possession;|
|(B)||each action taken or decision made by you as agent;|
|(C)||a complete account of receipts, disbursements, and other actions of you as agent that includes the source and nature of each receipt, disbursement, or action, with receipts of principal and income shown separately;|
|(D)||a listing of all property over which you have exercised control that includes an adequate description of each asset and the asset's current value, if known to you;|
|(E)||the cash balance on hand and the name and location of the depository at which the cash balance is kept;|
|(F)||each known liability;|
|(G)||any other information and facts known to you as necessary for a full and definite understanding of the exact condition of the property belonging to the principal; and|
|(H)||all documentation regarding the principal's property.|
Termination of Agent's Authority
You must stop acting on behalf of the principal if you learn of any event that terminates or suspends this power of attorney or your authority under this power of attorney. An event that terminates this power of attorney or your authority to act under this power of attorney includes:
|(1)||the principal's death;|
|(2)||the principal's revocation of this power of attorney or your authority;|
|(3)||the occurrence of a termination event stated in this power of attorney;|
|(4)||if you are married to the principal, the dissolution of your marriage by a court decree of divorce or annulment or declaration that your marriage is void, unless otherwise provided in this power of attorney;|
|(5)||the appointment and qualification of a permanent guardian of the principal's estate unless a court orders otherwise; or|
|(6)||if ordered by a court, your removal as agent (attorney in fact) under this power of attorney. An event that suspends this power of attorney or your authority to act under this power of attorney is the appointment and qualification of a temporary guardian unless a court order provides otherwise.|
Liability of Agent
The authority granted to you under this power of attorney is specified in the Durable Power of Attorney Act (Subtitle P, Title 2, Estates Code). If you violate the Durable Power of Attorney Act or act beyond the authority granted, you may be liable for damages caused by the violation or subject to prosecution for misapplication of property by a fiduciary under Chapter 32 of the Texas Penal Code.
THE AGENT, BY ACCEPTING OR ACTING UNDER THE APPOINTMENT, ASSUMES THE FIDUCIARY AND OTHER LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF AN AGENT.
Texas Power of Attorney FAQs
Where can I get power of attorney in Texas?
It is very simple to give or get the authority you may need using a free Texas Power of Attorney template from Rocket Lawyer:
- Make your document - Answer a few simple questions and we will do the rest
- Send or share it - Discuss it with your agent or ask a legal question
- Sign it and make it legal - Optional or not, notarization/witnesses are encouraged
This solution will often be notably less time-consuming than hiring the average provider. If necessary, you may prepare a PoA on behalf of a relative, and then have them sign it when ready. Please keep in mind that for this document to be considered legally valid, the principal must be mentally competent when they sign. In the event that the principal has already been declared incompetent, a conservatorship may be required. When managing this scenario, it would be best to speak with a lawyer .
Who should have a Texas PoA?
Every person over 18 should have a Power of Attorney. Though it may be painful to acknowledge, there will likely come a time when you aren't able to deal with your day-to-day affairs on your own. There may also be moments when you are simply out of pocket. Common occasions where you may consider power of attorney to be helpful include:
- You are getting older or dealing with ongoing health issues or limited mobility
- You are preparing to travel or live overseas either temporarily or permanently
- You wish to authorize a trusted person to act on your behalf if you become legally incompetent or incapacitated
- You currently live in a residential care facility and need help managing financial affairs
Regardless of whether this Texas Power of Attorney has been generated as part of a long-term plan or created in response to an emergency, notarization and/or witnesses can help to protect your document if someone doubts its authority.
Which type of Power of Attorney do I need in Texas?
There are a few ways to categorize PoA documents. They are largely dependent on how long the powers are valid, when they come into effect, and what they will grant authority over. Often, you will see them organized into these four groups:
- Springing Power of Attorney - Will come into effect based on certain guidelines
- Durable Power of Attorney - Will remain in effect even if you become mentally incompetent or incapacitated
- Special Power of Attorney - Will grant a limited scope of powers over specific affairs
- General Power of Attorney - Will grant broad powers over your affairs
When making your free Texas Power of Attorney, you can opt to have the agent's authority start upon signing, on a precise day, or only at the point when you're not capable. Your Power of Attorney may terminate either on a specific date or when you pass away.
Should I hire an attorney to review my Texas PoA?
Texas Power of Attorney forms are normally easy to make, but you or your agent(s) could still need advice. Depending on whom you reach out to, some attorneys won't even accept requests to review a document if they didn't work on it. A better approach might be through Rocket Lawyer On Call® network of attorneys. By becoming a Premium member, you will be able to request guidance from an Rocket Lawyer network attorney with relevant experience or get answers to additional legal questions related to your Power of Attorney. As always, Rocket Lawyer is here to support you.
How much might it typically cost to get a Power of Attorney form in Texas?
The cost of hiring a legal provider to write a Power of Attorney can add up to between $200 and $500. Rocket Lawyer can offer much more protection than most other Power of Attorney template providers that you may find elsewhere. As a Rocket Lawyer member, you can get up to a 40% discount when hiring an attorney from our network.
Will I have to take additional actions after writing a Texas Power of Attorney?
With a Rocket Lawyer membership, you will be able to make edits, save it as a Word or PDF document, and print it out. When you are ready to finalize your Power of Attorney, it should be signed. Your agent(s) and financial institutions should get copies of your fully executed document.
Does a Power of Attorney need to be notarized, witnessed, or recorded in Texas?
The laws governing PoA forms will vary in each state; however, in Texas, if the agent will have responsibilities related to real estate, or if you would like their authority to persist even if/when you are incapacitated, then your PoA form will need to be notarized. Two witnesses are required if the agent's duties will involve making decisions for or about a child. If your agent will have the authority to manage real estate transactions, the Power of Attorney will need to be acknowledged by a notary and filed or recorded with the county. As a basic principle, witnesses should not be under the age of 18, and none of them should also be designated as your agent.
See Texas Power of Attorney law: Estates Code, Title 2, Ch. 751