A power of attorney (POA) is a legal structure in which one person authorizes another to act as a decision-maker on behalf of their healthcare, finances, and other vital concerns in the event that they become disabled or incapacitated.
If you are considering implementing a POA, you should first speak with a Sugar Land power of attorney lawyer. A seasoned trusts and estates attorney at Romano & Sumner can help you determine the most appropriate document based on your specific goals and circumstances.
When someone executes a power of attorney, they designate an agent to act in their place to make crucial decisions in the event of their absence or incapacitation. An individual who creates the document is called the principal, and the person they give legal power to is called the agent. Given the broad authority that a POA grants to the principal’s agent, it is important to understand when to execute a document such as this and the types of power of attorneys available.
While a power of attorney is a valuable estate planning tool for seniors outlining their end-of-life wishes, most adults could benefit from having this document in place. By executing a POA, a person has the opportunity to select the agent of their choice to act in their stead if they are incapable of making significant decisions about their health or finances. If someone fails to designate a power of attorney and becomes incapacitated due to age, injury, or illness, it will be up to a judge to choose an agent to make decisions on the individual’s behalf.
Alongside other essential estate planning vehicles such as a will or a trust, a power of attorney can provide increased peace of mind for an individual, ensuring their specific wishes are documented for the protection and management of assets, healthcare, and other personal affairs. If the individual becomes incapacitated at any point in the future, having these necessary directives in place can also provide comfort to their family by having a clear course of action to follow.
To execute an enforceable power of attorney, the principal must be of the legal age of majority and of mental capacity to understand their actions. Any POA executed in Texas should also be signed with a notary public present.
There are several POA documents an attorney can help someone create. Two primary types are durable and medical powers of attorney documents. When someone creates a POA that stays in force if they suffer incapacitation, this is referred to as a durable power of attorney. Medical powers of attorney are a type of durable POA. It gives the agent legal authority to determine the principal’s healthcare if they are no longer capable of making such determinations.
Another common type of document is a limited power of attorney. In contrast to a durable POA, a limited power of attorney places restrictions on the agent’s ability to make decisions on the principal’s behalf. For instance, a limited power of attorney may give the agent authority to make decisions for the principal for a particular undertaking only or have a predetermined date on which the document will expire.
If someone wants to execute a POA authorizing their agent to make crucial decisions on their behalf, such as signing essential documents and overseeing their economic interests, a general power of attorney may be an appropriate option. Unlike a durable power of attorney, a general document expires if the individual becomes indisposed and unable to make decisions on their own.
There may also be situations where it is advisable to execute multiple POAs. A Romano and Sumner attorney can help you create a power of attorney that outlines your particular wishes and meets the legal requirements for validity.
A Sugar Land power of attorney lawyer can help you decide what type of document is most suitable for your estate planning needs. They can provide you more information about your POA options in a confidential phone conversation. Do not hesitate to reach out to book your introductory consultation with Romano & Sumner today.
Romano & Sumner, PLLC