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Power of attorney documents are an important estate planning tool and are valid across the country, yet they need to be drafted in accordance with your state laws. Texas residents can utilize the services of a Houston power of attorney lawyer to provide peace of mind that their financial or medical decisions can be made by a trusted person.

“The power may be limited to a particular activity, such as closing the sale of your home, or be general in its application. The power may give temporary or permanent authority to act on your behalf. The power may take effect immediately, or only upon the occurrence of a future event, usually a determination that you are unable to act for yourself due to mental or physical disability,” explains the American Bar Association.

What Is a Houston Power of Attorney? 

A power of attorney is a legal document that you can have drafted at an attorney’s office to appoint a person to act on your behalf in:

  • Financial matters and/or
  • Medical matters

If you’re ever unable to make decisions on your own behalf, these documents will allow the agent that you’ve chosen to act on your behalf.

Who Needs a Power of Attorney? 

Anyone over the age of 18 can benefit from a power of attorney, but these legal documents are often recommended for anyone:

  • Joining the military
  • Working overseas
  • Traveling often
  • Elderly
  • At-risk of a long-term health crisis
  • In a committed, long-term relationship and not married

A lot of people assume that a will provides the same protection as a power of attorney, but this is not the case. Living wills can provide additional protection, such as stating specific medical treatments that you want to be allowed or disallowed if you’re unable to make decisions on your own behalf.

When Should I Set up a Power of Attorney? 

You should have a power of attorney when you’re an adult, but it becomes even more important when you’re sick, have a medical issue, or start to generate wealth. Everyone is at risk of falling ill or becoming incapacitated at some point.

Every adult ought to have a power of attorney put in place if they want another person to have the authority to perform legal actions on their behalf.

Once you determine that you need a power of attorney, you’ll need to make the difficult decision of who will act as your agent. For many people, they’ll choose a child, loved one, or partner that they trust entirely.

An agent can be anyone, but the person must be trusted in their entirety. You may choose someone well-versed in finances to act on your financial behalf while making sure that the person you choose to oversee your health care knows your medical care wishes.

Types of Powers of Attorney 

There are multiple main powers of attorney that can be established, depending on your situation. The main powers of attorney are:

  • General. A general power of attorney is a simple document that authorizes an agent to act on your behalf in numerous situations.
  • Limited or Special. A common solution for when you may be out of the country and selling land you own. With a limited or special power of attorney, a person can act on your behalf for a single transaction or in some limited capacity.
  • Springing (Durable). The durable power of attorney allows the named agent to act on your behalf if you’re incapacitated or disabled in some way.
  • Medical. This is common when allowing a loved one to make medical decisions for you. If you’re unable to make your own decisions, a medical power of attorney allows you to name someone that will make these decisions for you.

For most powers of attorney, a person is making financial decisions on your behalf except for the medical power of attorney. This is often a tool used by couples that are not married yet want the other individual to make medical decisions if they’re unable to make them on their own.

These documents can provide you with peace of mind that someone that you trust can make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to make these decisions on your own.

Even in situations where you’re capable of making decisions, the right powers of attorney can help you make decisions from a long distance. Selling off real estate or transferring a property title is possible when you’re unable to be present.

For example, if you own property in Houston but had to relocate to Dubai for work, you can name a parent as an agent to sell the property on your behalf.

How Can a Houston Power of Attorney Lawyer Help Me? 

A power of attorney lawyer in Houston can help you draft the proper powers of attorney based on your situation and numerous factors. We’ll discuss your options with you, help weigh these options and assist you with understanding what the powers of attorney offer in terms of legal protection.

A Houston Power of Attorney Lawyer Here To Support You

Whenever you find yourself needing to reach out to our office, you can be sure you won’t need to wait for hours or days in order to get a response. Here at Stafford Law Firm, we pride ourselves on being easily accessible and on responding to all client inquiries as soon as possible.

The fact of the matter is, one day you will need to fall back on your estate plan. Whether it will simply be to pass on your family’s wealth after you pass, or something even more heartbreaking like needing a new guardian appointment for your children, having a thorough and customized plan in place will help make sure your family and your future are well taken care of. This plan will often need to include one or several powers of attorney, and you can rest easy knowing that an experienced Houston power of attorney lawyer has your best interests at heart. Reach out today for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

A power of attorney is a legal document that grants someone else the power to make decisions on your behalf. If you decide to set up a power of attorney you should always work with an experienced attorney. It is crucial that this document be set up correctly, otherwise, you might inadvertently put yourself at serious risk of being taken advantage of down the road.

A durable power of attorney is a specific type of power of attorney that remains in effect even after the person who is represented in the document passes away. For most situations, many lawyers will recommend a durable power of attorney since it will make it easier for the designated person to make financial decisions even after your death.

The scope of a power of attorney entirely depends on how it has been set up. An experienced power of attorney lawyer will be able to set up your POA to be as narrow or as wide-reaching as you choose.