Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

Estate Planning & Probate Specialists

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Protect Your Autonomy With A Power Of Attorney

A power of attorney is an ancillary estate planning document that authorizes an individual to act on your behalf if you are unable to act for yourself. It can be used in a specific situation — for example, if you are unable to be physically present to sign a document — or it can give general authority to another person to take certain types of actions on your behalf. A power of attorney is not valid if you are incapacitated unless it is a durable power of attorney.

Using a durable power of attorney, you can decide for yourself who will manage all or part of your property, financial affairs and personal care if you become incapable.

Choosing A Voice To Speak For You

During our consultation, we will discuss various features of powers of attorney in Texas, especially as some have recently changed.

  • The person signing the power of attorney is called the principal and the person who receives authority is called the agent.
  • A power of attorney creates a fiduciary relationship between the agent and principal and requires the agent to act in good faith for the benefit of the principal without overreaching the authority granted in the power of attorney.
  • A Texas Medical Power of Attorney can be used to designate someone to make decisions about your medical care if you become incapable. You can specify ahead of time in writing which treatments you will accept. You will be able to make your own medical decisions as long as you are capable because your agent’s authority only starts when a doctor declares you incapable.
  • Texas recently changed the terminology of powers of attorney. The new Statutory Durable Power of Attorney grants powers only for personal and financial matters and may cover all aspects of finances and personal care or be limited to specific activities and situations.

For more information on powers of attorney, please call the Law Office of Sharon C. Stodghill at 713-464-6412 or contact us by email to arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced Houston estate planning lawyers. Let us help you choose who will speak for you.