What is a Power of Attorney, and Why do I Need One?

One of the most important aspects of estate planning is nominating a Power of Attorney. This blog post will discuss the importance of a POA.
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No one knows when their time will come, but it is better to prepare for the worst. Ultimately, one of the most important aspects of estate planning is having a Power of Attorney (POA) in place. This blog post will discuss what a POA is and why you need one. Contact an estate planning lawyer in Texas to get started on your plan!

What is a Power of Attorney (POA)?

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows another person to decide on your behalf. The person you appoint in your POA is called an “agent.” Moreover, they will be able to make decisions about your finances, healthcare, or your property.

Types of POAs

There are several types of POAs. The type of POA you need will depend on your specific needs. For example, are you needing someone to make decisions about your finances? Or, do you need someone to make decisions about your healthcare? Therefore, choosing the best POA for you is crucial to ensure that it will fulfill your needs.

Contact an estate planning lawyer in Texas if you need help choosing the best one for you. They can help you understand your options and ensure that your POA meets your specific needs.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable POA means that your agent can act on your behalf if you can’t. This is helpful if you become sick or unable to make decisions for yourself. Most States will automatically make your POA durable unless you say otherwise. Therefore, it’s essential to be clear about your type of POA.

Non-durable Power of Attorney

A non-durable POA is an agreement that your agent can act on your behalf as long as you can make decisions for yourself. For example, if you are going on a business trip and won’t be able to sign documents, you could give someone authority to sign them for you. However, if you become incapacitated, their duties end immediately. Meaning they are no longer able to make decisions for you.

Springing Power of Attorney

A springing POA is a power of attorney that only goes into effect under specific conditions you set. For example, your springing POA would begin if you develop dementia and can’t care for yourself anymore. Moreover, it’s often used in estate planning so that your loved ones can take care of your finances and health care if you can’t do it yourself.

We do not recommend this type of POA for estate planning purposes. For example, doctors may have differing opinions on whether you have dementia or not. This may cause delays in allowing your agent to act on your behalf. Further, these delays mean that your agent may not be able to pay your bills or make medical decisions on your behalf.

Financial Power of Attorney

A financial POA gives your agent the authority to handle your money. You can give them as much or as little power as you want. For example, you may want them to be able to pay your bills but not sell any of your assets. Typically, a financial POA means that your agent can pay your bills or handle real estate matters. Further, it takes effect as soon as you sign it or upon the occurrence of a specific event.

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney lets your agent act for you in all the situations allowed by law. This includes legal, financial, health, and business decisions. A general POA can be durable or non-durable, depending on what you want. Further, it gives your agent a lot of power over your affairs. However, there are some things they can’t do, like changing your Will.

Medical Power of Attorney

A medical power of attorney is a type of durable POA. It allows your agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so yourself. For example, an injury or illness that renders you unconscious or incapacitated will make you unable to make these decisions.

Your medical POA can be as specific or general as you like. For instance, your agent could decide your medication or end-of-life care. Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine how much power you want them to have.

Why do I need a POA?

Now that you know what a POA is, you may understand why it is crucial for you to have one. However, if you are still unsure, here are a few key reasons why you want to have a POA.

  • If you’re ever unable to make decisions for yourself, you want someone you trust to make them on your behalf.
  • You want to avoid putting your family members through the stress of making tough decisions about your care.
  • If you want to make sure your wishes are carried out, even when you’re not able to communicate them yourself.

A POA can be a helpful tool customized to fit your specific needs. If you have any questions about whether or not a POA is right for you, speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer in Texas. They can help you decide if a POA is appropriate for your situation.

What type of POA should you choose?

The type of POA you choose should reflect what you want to happen in every situation of life. You can have different people assigned to each POA.

Here are some everyday situations where people choose to have a POA:

  • Business owners want someone they trust to be able to make decisions on their behalf if they’re ever unable to do so themselves.
  • Parents who have young children want to appoint someone as their legal guardian if something happens to them.
  • Individuals getting married or divorced want to make sure their assets are protected.

No matter your situation, it’s essential to consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer in Texas before executing a POA.

When do your POAs responsibilities end?

No matter which POA you have, they all end when you die. But before death, each POA has different requirements. For example, if you have a non-durable POA, their responsibility ends if you cannot make decisions. On the other hand, if you have a durable POA, their duty will continue even if you become incapacitated. Further, if you have a springing POA, your agent will only have authority under specific conditions outlined in the document. For example, if you want them to begin their duties if you are in a coma, they will start their duties once that occurs. However, once the condition no longer exists (you wake up from the coma), they no longer have the authority to make decisions for you.

Why hire an Estate Planning Lawyer in Texas?

No matter how young or old you are, or whether you think you need it or not, everyone should go through estate planning. Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. On the contrary, anyone with any assets can benefit from an estate plan. Moreover, an Estate Planning Lawyer in Texas can help you create a comprehensive Estate Plan that will protect you and your loved ones in your incapacity or death.

A POA is an essential part of your estate planning. You may think that you do not need a POA if you are young and healthy and have no assets. However, life is unpredictable, and anything can happen at any time. What if something were to happen to you and you could not make decisions for yourself? If you do not have a POA in place, your family would have to go through the expensive process of getting appointed as your legal guardian.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Dooley Noted if you need a POA. Our estate planning lawyer in Texas can help you through the process. Above all, we will make sure you understand each step of the way.

The contents of this post, and the posting and viewing of the information on this post, should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues.

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