A Texas Power of Attorney is a powerful document that grants a third party the power to represent or interact with others on the client’s behalf. Many estate plans actually contain two separate kinds of power of attorney–a medical power of attorney and a general power of attorney.
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A medical power of attorney is a document in which you (called the “principal”) give someone you trust (called an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”) the legal power to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become unable to make medical decisions in the future. The person chosen in a medical power of attorney has the ability to make certain medical decisions for the client, but the client also retains the power to make medical decisions unless the client has become mentally incapacitated.
A power of attorney is a document that gives someone you trust the ability to make legal decisions on your behalf. The general power of attorney has broad powers, including the ability to make banking transactions, file tax returns, buy and sell stock, sell property, and so forth.
Both the medical power of attorney and general power of attorney can be made “durable,” which means that the document remains in effect even if the client becomes mentally incapacitated after the power of attorney was first signed. Oftentimes, when someone asks to see a “durable power of attorney,” this person is asking to see the General Power of Attorney. Further, a “Statutory Power of Attorney” is a General Power of Attorney that uses example language pulled directly from the Texas statute dealing with general powers of attorney.
The durable general power of attorney is helpful when you want to give someone the authority to, for example, pay your bills or make transactions for you if you are unable in the future.