If circumstances arise that either physically or mentally prevent you from tending to your responsibilities as a parent, a homeowner or even a small business operator, it’s important to have a plan in place to keep things afloat.
In Texas, you can allocate someone as a general power of attorney to make financial decisions for you, such as transferring title to your car or property, managing bank accounts and providing money for your family. You can also designate the same person or someone else as a special power of attorney to make specific health care decisions for you.
Granting a durable power of attorney allows an agent to make these financial or health care decisions on your behalf in case the you become physically or mentally incompetent. A power of attorney is different from a durable power of attorney only because a power of attorney cannot make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated.
To select a durable power of attorney, you must produce a document in writing that:
- Names the person that you want to be your agent
- Sets specific parameters for how the power of attorney should be used, including whether the agent’s powers become effective upon your disability or incapacity
- Is signed and notarized
If you have designated a durable power of attorney in another state, the title may remain valid if it complies with the law of that state.
You have the right to end your agent’s power of attorney any time. Privileges can be revoked orally or in writing, as long as you give notice to the agent and your health care provider of your intention to remove the current agent’s powers of attorney. These privileges are also revoked after a divorce if the ex-spouse was the designated agent with powers of attorney.
The rights granted to a statutory durable attorney are very broad and encompass more than a regular durable attorney. To learn more about which specific powers of attorney may be in your best interests to grant, ask a lawyer for advice. An estate planning lawyer can help you look over the different powers associated with different circumstances and help you select the conditions and agent that is right for you.