When you take the time to decide upon a power of attorney, you’re helping to ensure that decisions regarding your or someone’s health and finances are handled if an emergency occurs. Two of the most common issues for a durable power of attorney are related to healthcare and finances. An Arlington power of attorney can help you to draft these important legal documents.
How a Power of Attorney Can Help You and Your Family
A financial power of attorney in Texas is a legal document that grants your chosen representative the legal authority to act on your behalf in terms of finances. The official title given to them will depend on the state you live in. In Texas, they are called an agent or attorney at fact. This entitles this person to act in your best interests.
The power of attorney must be signed, witnessed, and notarized by the individual being designated as the agent. The power of attorney typically comes into play with divorce, death, or revocation.
In terms of a healthcare power of attorney, this individual makes medical decisions for you in case of emergencies. The durable power of attorney must be 18 years or older and competent to create a document as well as the individual who is creating the document. They take over for you if a medical professional dictates that you lack the capacity to make your own health decisions.
With the help of an Arlington power of attorney lawyer, you can create a legal document easily. They can simplify the process and answer any questions you may have about the document. If you or a loved one needs help with power of attorney issues, call 817-261-5000 to speak to a professional attorney in Arlington, Texas today.
Life throws us many unexpected challenges, and sometimes, those challenges leave us unable to make important decisions about our own health and well being. Rather than be put at the mercy of strangers in the court system, or medical professionals, it simply makes good sense to appoint a power of attorney who can manage your various affairs if you become incapacitated for any reason.
You can designate anyone you trust to act as a power of attorney, including a friend, a relative, or an actual attorney. The power of attorney lasts until you pass away or you make changes that cancel the terms of the agreement.
There Are Many Types of Power of Attorney Agreements
You should be aware that there are many different types of power of attorney agreements. Each designates certain legal boundaries that the power of attorney designee can perform on your behalf.
A general power of attorney gives sweeping powers to the person you select. This allows them to handle all of your financial and business affairs, pay bills, settle claims, make business decisions, and retain the services of others to help manage your affairs until you are able to do so, or you pass away. In some instances, a General Power of Attorney will also cover any health care decisions that need to be made on your behalf as well.
A durable power of attorney is an agreement that is already in place that allows agents to act on the principal’s behalf before they become incapacitated, handling predefined tasks. The agreement allows the agent to also keep acting on a person’s behalf after they become unable to handle their own affairs, possibly changing the scope of the powers to meet more broadly defined concerns. For a durable power of attorney in Arlington to go into effect, it’s best to specify that you will want a doctor to certify that you are no longer competent to manage your own affairs.
A health care power of attorney gives your agent the authority only to make decisions regarding medical care on your behalf if you are physically or mentally unable to do so on your own. This is different than an advanced health care directive, but when combined, the two will spell out very specific directions for crucial medical decisions.
Just as a Health Care Power of Attorney is limited in scope, so to is a financial power of attorney. This limits your agent to make financial decisions on your behalf, including paying mortgages and other bills, managing your investments, and protecting any and all of your business interests.
The Hixson Law Firm serves clients in Mansfield, Arlington, Grand Prairie and other nearby Texas communities.
This past year has introduced a new change that affects probate law in the state of Texas. Elderly residents often find themselves in need of someone else to take charge of their affairs. In the event that they become incapacitated or incompetent.
It seems simple enough. When a person can longer take care of their own affairs, someone else steps in and takes over. That is where power of attorney comes into play.
However, a new law has changed things.
Texas’ new Statutory Power of Attorney form differs from the previous way power of attorney was handled in the state. Now, principals have to initial where each of their powers are to be granted to the person they are entrusting with their affairs, also known as an agent. This form also starts with a written warning to the principal that they need to choose an agent they deem trustworthy.
Furthermore, there is a choice of when the power of attorney can go into effect. It could be immediate or it could be delayed until the principal’s future incapacity. There is also a closing section which further attempts to protect the principal.
At the conclusion of this new form, the agent claims personal liability and responsibility to act in the best interest of the principal. Nevertheless, the principal has to have the capability of initialing this kind of form. Without that capability, it is invalid.
It is just one more way of helping to make sure elders’ assets and best interests are protected. It is also somewhat monumental because it has been almost two decades since any changes were made with Texas’ statutory power of attorney. The last changes made came in 1997.
Statutory Power of Attorney could be a complex issue when dealing with the preparation of wills or probate. Any estate planning could always be a slippery slope, and that’s why it is important to seek assistance from a trusted professional.
Hixson Law Firm can walk clients through this process and make sure all your rights are protected. Preparation and probate of wills, trusts, and affidavits of heirship are just some of the areas our attorneys can help you. Arlington, Grand Prairie and Mansfield residents now have a real solution with real lawyers who are ready to work for you.