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.