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Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that grants authority to another person, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, to act on your behalf in making financial and legal decisions. This document allows you to choose someone you trust to handle your affairs in the event that you become incapacitated or are unable to make decisions yourself.

Types of Powers of Attorney

  1. General Power of Attorney: This type of power of attorney grants broad powers to the agent, allowing them to handle various financial and legal matters on your behalf. It is effective immediately upon execution and remains in effect until you revoke it or become incapacitated.
  2. Limited or Special Power of Attorney: A limited or special power of attorney grants the agent specific powers for a defined period or purpose. For example, you may grant someone the power to handle a real estate transaction on your behalf while you are out of the country.
  3. Durable Power of Attorney: A durable power of attorney is specifically designed to remain in effect even if you become incapacitated. It ensures that your chosen agent can continue managing your affairs without the need for court intervention.
  4. Springing Power of Attorney: A springing power of attorney only comes into effect when a specific event or condition, such as your incapacitation, occurs. This type of power of attorney requires clear provisions to define when the agent’s authority is activated.
  5. Medical Power of Attorney: Grants the agent the power to make health care decisions for the principal if he or she is unable to make them. The agent may exercise his or her authority only if the principal’s attending physician certifies that, in the physician’s opinion, the principal lacks the capacity to make health care decisions. The principal can revoke the power of attorney at any time, orally or in writing, regardless of the principal’s mental state. The medical power of attorney may be signed by two witnesses, one of which is not:
    • the person designated as agent;
    • related to the principal by blood or marriage;
    • an employee of the principal’s health care facility who is providing direct care to the principal or who is involved in the financial affairs of the facility;
    • the principal’s attending physician or an employee of the physician;
    • the principal’s heirs; or
    • a person who would have a claim against the principal’s estate upon his or her death.

Importance of Powers of Attorney in Estate Planning

Incorporating powers of attorney into your estate plan is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Planning for Incapacity: Powers of attorney allow you to designate a trusted individual to handle your financial and legal matters if you are unable to do so yourself due to incapacity. This ensures that your affairs are managed smoothly and according to your wishes.
  2. Avoiding Guardianship Proceedings: By designating an agent through a power of attorney, you can prevent the need for costly and time-consuming guardianship proceedings, which may occur if you become incapacitated without a valid power of attorney in place.
  3. Financial Management: A power of attorney provides your agent with the authority to manage your finances, pay bills, handle banking transactions, and make investment decisions on your behalf. This allows for uninterrupted financial management during your incapacity.
  4. Healthcare Decision Making: In addition to financial matters, a power of attorney can include healthcare powers, granting your agent the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. This ensures that your healthcare preferences are respected and followed.

The Takeaway

Creating a comprehensive estate plan that includes powers of attorney is essential to protect your interests and ensure a smooth transition in times of incapacity. Our experienced estate planning attorneys can guide you through the process, help you understand your options, and draft powers of attorney that reflect your specific needs and goals.

Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation. Let us assist you in preparing powers of attorney that provide you with peace of mind, knowing that your affairs will be handled according to your wishes, even in unforeseen circumstances.

Why Choose Us?

Local Expertise: With a focus on probate and assisting clients in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we understand local peculiarities and leverage our established network to expedite the probate process.

Vast Experience: Our attorneys bring years of dedicated experience in navigating Dallas County’s probate system.

Client-Centered Approach: We recognize the emotional stress often associated with probate administration. Our objective is to alleviate this stress by providing you with top-notch legal support.

Contact us today to arrange a FREE consultation and make the probate process simpler for you.

Our Dallas Probate Attorneys provide a full range of probate services to our clients, including helping with powers of attorney. Affordable rates, fixed fees, and payment plans are available. We provide step-by-step instructions, guidance, checklists, and more for completing the probate process. We have years of combined experience we can use to support and guide you with probate and estate matters.


Disclaimer:  The content of this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice and should not be acted upon without consulting a qualified probate attorney.