How to Get a Power of Attorney in Texas?

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 What Are Texas Requirements for a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that provides an individual with the power to act in another individual’s place. The individual who is provided the power to act is called the agent or the attorney-in-fact.

The principal is the individual who authorizes the agent to act on their behalf. It is important to note that an attorney-in-fact does not have to be a licensed attorney. This article will discuss the Texas requirements for a power of attorney.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Power of Attorney?

In general, the cost of a power of attorney in Texas may range between $200 and $500. However, it is important to note these costs may vary based on many factors, such as the Texas lawyer’s experience and the legal fees in the area.

What Is Necessary to Form a Legal Power of Attorney?

In order to form a legal power of attorney, it must be in writing. This gives the grantor’s agent the right to act on their behalf.

All of the authority and rights that are granted to an agent by a power of attorney may be used by them. An agent is not permitted to act outside of the authority that they are granted under the power of attorney.

In general, the principal is required to sign and date the power of attorney. The principal also has to be of sound mind to approve the power of attorney.

Additionally, the principal may be required to acknowledge the power of attorney paperwork in front of a notary public. The agent may also be required to sign and date the power of attorney in front of a notary public for it to be considered genuine.

What Information Must Be Included in a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney needs to include several provisions, including:

  • Who is designated as the individual’s representative;
  • The goal of the power of attorney, for example, whether it is for:
    • financial;
    • medical;
    • other purposes;
  • The extent of the tasks and obligations that must be performed;
  • The precise dates or circumstances that will cause the power of attorney to take effect; and
  • The terms and procedures by which the power of attorney can be terminated.

In some situations, a power of attorney document may be changed at a later time. In addition, some power of attorney forms include a clause outlining what to do in the event of a dispute.

For example, the parties may concur that a lawsuit is a suitable resolution for a disagreement. In other situations, the parties may determine that using an alternative dispute resolution method is the best course of action.

Which Powers of Attorney Types Are There?

The duration of a power of attorney will depend on whether it is a durable power of attorney or a non-durable power of attorney. A non-durable power of attorney, after incapacitation or death of the grantor, will expire by operation of law.

Typically, a non-durable power of attorney remains in effect until the agent is notified of a disability or disease. In contrast, a durable power of attorney will last notwithstanding the grantor’s infirmity.

There is specific language to this effect in a durable power of attorney; for example, “this power of attorney shall not be impaired by subsequent infirmity or incompetence.” A durable power of attorney is restricted in one important way: that it expires when the principal passes away.

There are specific types of powers of attorney as well, including financial powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, and others.

What Kinds of Decisions Are Permissible Under a Power of Attorney?

An individual can use a power of attorney for general purposes or specific purposes. A general power of attorney typically grants an agent all of the principal’s rights and authority.

A general power of attorney may allow an agent to carry out the following, for example:

  • A signature, payment of debts,
  • Make all decisions related to the real property and personal property of the grantor.

Unless the grantor revokes the document, a general power of attorney expires with the grantor’s death or incapacity. A power of attorney may also provide an agent with the authority to decide on particular issues, such as transactions involving a particular piece of property.

A particular or restricted power of attorney is the name that is provided for these types of documents. This type of power of attorney allows the agent to carry out a single, specific transaction on behalf of the principal.

How to Appoint an Agent in Texas?

In Texas, an individual must know how to designate a representative legally if they intend to give an individual power of attorney over their financial, medical, or other choices. The Texas Power of Attorney Act, Probate Code Chapter 7, governs the procedures for designating an individual as an agent for making financial and medical decisions.

There are several tips an individual should follow when granting a power of attorney in Texas, including:

  • Pick an agent carefully;
  • Get the right documents;
  • Complete the form;
  • Protect the power of attorney document.

Pick an agent carefully

An individual may give another individual the authority to make decisions for them regarding their finances, health, real estate, and other significant life issues by giving them power of attorney. An individual should select an agent who is informed about these topics and the grantor’s preferences and objectives so that, when the time comes, they can make the best choices.

It is important to choose a principal who is dependable and accountable.

Get the right documents

In order to award an individual power of attorney, the grantor must complete the necessary documentation. There are standard power of attorney forms available on the Internet, through an attorney, or at office supply stores.

It is important to obtain the forms from a reputable source and check them thoroughly for accuracy.

Complete the form

A power of attorney document has to be fully completed and notarized in Texas to be legally binding. In addition, completing the form with the agent present is a good idea in order to ensure that both parties understand what is expected of them.

The majority of bank offices will provide notary services for no cost or a nominal fee.

Protect the power of attorney document

An individual is not required to submit their power of attorney paperwork to any organization in Texas. Once the power of attorney is notarized and signed, it becomes valid.

An individual should keep their document in a safe location, such as a house safe, a bank deposit box, or with their lawyer.

What Is the Effective Date of a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is often effective when the principal is rendered incapable. It may also, however, take effect in other situations, such as:

  • On a specific date provided in the power of attorney document;
  • If the individual is abroad or unable to sign in person;
  • In accordance with verbal instructions;
  • If the individual has otherwise lost the capacity to make their own legal decisions.

The conditions that govern when a power of attorney takes effect may vary depending on the type of document.

What Are Two Typical Situations That Invoke the Use of Powers of Attorney?

There are two common situations that invoke the use of a power of attorney. One situation is a healthcare proxy. With a healthcare proxy, the principal designates a representative to make healthcare decisions on their behalf.

A healthcare proxy is not effective until the grantor is rendered unable to do so. In general, a healthcare proxy must be in writing and signed by the grantor in order to be considered valid.

A clause stating that the grantor appeared to have signed the healthcare proxy free from coercion must also be included in the healthcare proxy. A power of attorney may also be used for estate planning purposes.

For estate planning, an agent may be granted the authority to handle assets under a power of attorney that could pass to the grantor’s estate upon their death. The grantor may, for example, have a 401(k) account.

A power of attorney may have been established, and the grantor became incapacitated. If so, the agent has the power to manage the 401(k) until the grantor’s death, provided that a power of attorney satisfies the requirements for such authority.

Is a Texas Power of Attorney Valid in Other States?

A power of attorney that is completed in Texas may or may not be valid in another state. In addition, the laws of the other state may limit what the power of attorney covers if it is permitted.

The Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA) is a body of laws that govern the creation and scope of powers of attorney. There are 26 states that have adopted the UPOAA, including:

  • Alabama;
  • Arkansas;
  • Colorado;
  • Connecticut;
  • Georgia;
  • Hawaii;
  • Idaho;
  • Iowa;
  • Maine;
  • Maryland;
  • Montana;
  • Nebraska;
  • Nevada;
  • New Hampshire;
  • New Mexico;
  • North Carolina;
  • Ohio;
  • Pennsylvania;
  • South Carolina;
  • Texas;
  • Utah;
  • Virginia;
  • Washington;
  • West Virginia;
  • Wisconsin; and
  • Wyoming.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Get a Power of Attorney in Texas?

If you are considering granting a power of attorney in Texas, it is essential to consult with a Texas estate attorney. Your attorney can help ensure that your power of attorney covers the issues that you desire it to cover.

In addition, your lawyer will ensure that your paperwork is completed accurately and in line with your objectives. Having an attorney assist with your power of attorney will ensure you create a legally binding document that will be enforced if you are unable to make decisions.


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