Powers of Attorney Lawyer in Clear Lake City, Texas
Most people probably figure once they’ve created their last will and testament that they’ve made all preparations necessary for the future. After all, their will provides for their loved ones after they are gone. However, a will is just one building block of a proper and comprehensive estate plan, which will cover other eventualities in life involving not only your loved ones but also yourself.
Other legal instruments should also be considered when planning for the future. These include a living will or advance health care directive and powers of attorney. A power of attorney (POA) can be used for almost any purpose to assign someone else the authority to act on your behalf. Even though it uses the word attorney, the person you—as the principal creating the POA—assign as your agent can be anyone, such as a family member, friend, coworker, or professional.
For all your estate planning needs in or around Clear Lake City, Texas, contact the Perrin Law Firm. We have been helping clients create legal instruments, including powers of attorney, for their estate planning needs for nearly two decades. We will review your financial situation with you, discuss your goals and dreams for the future, and advise you on how best to protect yourself and your loved ones, providing everyone with lasting peace of mind.
The Perrin Law Firm also proudly serves clients in League City, Deer Park, Friendswood, Pasadena, Seabrook, and the Greater Houston Area.
Powers of Attorney Under Texas Law
The first thing to consider is how to create a power of attorney and what you intend it for. Your best bet here is to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. Texas law requires certain expository statements and warnings to be included in every POA. An attorney can make sure you reach this legal standard. Your attorney can also help you focus on what type or types of powers of attorney you need.
To create a power of attorney, you must be 18 or older and be of sound mind. Of sound mind means that you comprehend what you’re doing and what the consequences of your actions are. A POA must also be notarized to be recognized legally.
When it comes to creating a POA focused on real estate that authorizes someone else—your agent—to act on your behalf, it must be filed with the clerk in each county where the property is located.
Types of Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney entrusts someone else to make decisions and conduct transactions for you. The purpose of a POA can be limited or general (or completely broad, in other words). Here are the major types of POAs:
A LIMITED (SPECIAL) POWER OF ATTORNEY: This type of POA gives someone the authority to carry out certain responsibilities for a specified time period. For instance, you may be going overseas on business and want someone to collect rent from your units, so you give someone the power to do so while you’re gone.
A DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY: A durable power of attorney gives broad powers, and continues to be effective even if the principal later becomes incapacitated.
A SPRINGING POWER OF ATTORNEY: You can make any of these POAs springing by specifying when they take effect. For instance, you can make a durable POA springing by specifying that it takes effect only if you become incapacitated.
A MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEY: This type of POA gives your agent the power to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated and unable to voice your own treatment preferences.
Choosing Your Agent
The person you name to be your agent should be someone you trust completely. Your agent will have a fiduciary responsibility in all matters involving money and transactions, but other than that, they can act freely in your stead. “Choose wisely” is the best advice. You also may want to name a successor agent in case your first choice can’t—or won’t—carry out the functions expressed in the POA.
Safeguarding Your POA
You will want to retain any POA you create in your personal possession and store it in a safe place. Your agent (or agents if there is a successor) should also have copies. Family members should be aware of the POA, if not have copies of their own. Financial institutions you work with should also get copies. In addition, it’s always best to create the POA with an attorney, who will then have a copy as well if disputes arise.
Revoking a POA
If the need for a POA disappears, or you simply change your mind, you can always just tear up the POA, but that can leave other copies that you’ve distributed still out there. It’s best to create a revocation document, get it notarized, and then send copies to everyone who has the original POA.
Powers of Attorney Lawyer Serving Clear Lake City, Texas
A power of attorney can be a useful legal instrument to address possible eventualities in life. If you’re in or around Clear Lake City, Texas, reach out to us at the Perrin Law Firm. We will discuss your options with you and then help you create any POA that will help protect you and yours going forward.