Power of Attorney Texas is a website designed to educate the public about the main types of power of attorney forms that are available in the state of Texas and actually provide the ability to create the forms right here on this site.
What is a Power of Attorney?
Each state has separate and therefore slightly different legal definitions and requirements pertaining to their Power of Attorney documents. Texas is no different and so this site pertains exclusively to the various Texas Power of Attorney forms.
This is a key point. POA documents are true iron-clad, legal documents, and considered some of the most potent legal forms that individuals can make ranking even above the last will and testament.
What are the different types of Power of Attorney forms?
Essentially, in Texas, a Power of Attorney form comes in three main varieties with one or two sub types. The main types of POAs are:
- Texas General Power of Attorney – This document allows a third party (known as the agent) to perform all the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of the person granting the authority (known as the principal). The agent can perform business and banking functions, make medical, health and well-being decisions and a host of other functions including representing the principal in legal and tax matters.
- Texas Health Care Power of Attorney – Also known as a Medical Power of Attorney, or a Living Will, this document is restricted to allowing an agent to make medical decisions regarding drugs, medical procedures and treatments and life extension procedures on behalf of the principal.
- Texas Limited Power of Attorney – Also referred to as a “Special Power of Attorney”, this document exists for the purpose and duration of a specific function or even only. For example, you may create a Limited Power of Attorney allowing a third party to sell a car or specific piece of property, to handle a tax issue from a certain year or group of years.
To really put these POA legal documents in a nutshell, consider that their function is to make another person of your choise to become “legally you”. The person you choose can withdraw from your bank, sell your house and even determine if you should or should not get a life-saving medical procedure. The power of attorney agent becomes you in the eyes of the law. Really all the different POA forms in Texas are derived from the Texas General Power of Attorney, it is that essential document that is defined in the Texas Probate Law. It is how you modify this form that gives it different names. There is one modification that is critical to the document, and that is to make the Genreral POA form, Durable. All Power of Attorney forms in Texas become ineffective when the principal becomes incapacitated or dies. If you include very specific wording in your POA form, you can keep the form effective even after you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. This is a CRITICAL function of the Power of Attorney document which is why all of the forms we offer on this site are made durable, that is; all of our forms remain effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated. You can read about POA documents in Texas in more detail here >> What is a Power of Attorney Document?
Do I need a Power of Attorney?
The short answer is yes. As you age and acquire more assets, this powerful document becomes more important to protect your lifestyle and those of your loved ones in the event something were to happen to you. Remember, you can revise the POA form as many times as you like but you cannot create one after you become incapacitated.
With all that decision making capability on your behalf (not to mention all of your finances) many people worry that there could be wide margin for misconduct if the Power of Attorney form is not prepared correctly. Although most states like Texas for instance, have protective measures in place to prevent such occurrences, there is no replacement for a properly created form. So researching these legal documents before creating one or signing one is the right thing to do. That is the purpose of this site after all, to provide that information for a sound decision. Know that the most important thing is choose your agent wisely. Make sure the person you choose to be your Power of Attorney agent is someone you trust more than 100%.
We encourage you to read more about power of attorney documents here on this site or the entry in Wikipedia about Power of Attorney forms and learn as much as you can so you can make an informed decision. The forms we have provided here on this website are completely valid and updated for 2013 Texas Probate Law. They are very easy to use and can be printed instantly. If you want to jump right in you can create your durable power of attorney form for Texas right here.