What Is a Power of Attorney?

There are a few different powers of attorney and advance directives that can be utilized in a person’s overall estate plan in Texas. A medical power of attorney designates a person to make decisions on your behalf regarding medical treatment if you become incapacitated and cannot make those decisions yourself. A directive to physicians (also known as a living will) is a document that lays out your desires regarding certain end of life measures, such as whether you desire certain life sustaining treatment (life support, etc.).

In addition to a Medical Power of Attorney, a Durable Power of Attorney allows you to designate someone to manage your financial affairs if you become incapacitated. The person appointed under this Texas power of appointment will have the ability to access your bank accounts and other financial information in order to ensure that your financial assets are properly managed and your debts are timely paid during this difficult period. The powers given to the appointed person can be very narrow or very broad, depending on the circumstances and the wishes of the person making the designation, which is why it is important to have the document lay out specifically what powers the appointee will have.

By using a Designation of Guardianship for Minor Children, parents can name the person who will become the legal guardian of a minor child or an adult child who has a disability if both parents die.

Why Powers of Attorney are Important in Texas

Every comprehensive Texas estate plan should include one or more powers of attorney and advance directives in order to assure that your wishes are properly carried out regarding your medical care and the financial security of yourself and your family during a period of incapacity. A Texas power of attorney or advance directive serves this purpose by naming in advance the person who will be responsible for making these decisions on your behalf while you are incapacitated, as well as what powers that person can exercise over your property. This planning can remove the burden from your family by providing some level of certainty regarding who will make these important decisions and what your wishes are during this difficult period.

Located in Houston, Texas, the Vance law firm concentrates its efforts on the estate planning needs of Texans and their families.  Contact a Houston estate and probate attorney at the Vance Law Firm today for a consultation regarding your estate plan and to see how a Texas Power of Attorney can be used to fit your estate planning needs.