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.