» Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney is a document that gives someone powers to conduct affairs for you related to finances and property — both real property (land / buildings) and personal property.     

In Texas, you have a choice to make your power of attorney effective immediately or only after incapacity. McCreary Law Office recommends the former. If you go with only after incapacity, too often, your agent (the person you put in charge) could have difficulty getting a formal declaration of incapacity. And without that, your agent would be powerless, which is exactly what we are trying to avoid by putting your power of attorney in place. We’ll discuss these options in detail during a consultation.

A limited power of attorney is the same as a traditional power of attorney except that it grants only specific — limited — power. For example, if someone will have to sign a deed for you to sell your home because you are not available, you might grant that person power to do only that action and only for a limited amount of time. (Such a power of attorney for real property must be recorded with the deed.)

No. The powers under a power of attorney die with you.

No. When your agent acts on your behalf, that indicates the agent has accepted the power and the responsibility.

It could take up to seventeen business days to learn if a bank (or anyone else) is going to refuse to accept your power of attorney. When given a power of attorney, a bank can ask for either the agent’s certification or an attorney’s opinion before accepting a power of attorney, but that must be done within ten business days. But the bank cannot require that a power of attorney be on some other type of form as long as the one presented grants banking powers. The bank then has seven days to either accept the power of attorney or provide a written reason it is being refused. Texas law provides limited reasons someone can refuse to honor a power of attorney.

You can revoke your power of attorney at any time. If no one is acting as your agent and you have not given a copy to anyone, you can revoke it in writing or by destroying it. If someone is already acting as your agent, you should give that person notice you are revoking the power. You should also tell anyone else who is relying on the old power of attorney. In Texas, you can also sign a new form that specifically revokes an older power of attorney; you give this form to your previous agent and anyone working with that agent.

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Attorney Jana McCreary

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Houston Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney Jana R. McCreary has been an attorney for over eighteen years, a career move she made after working for over a decade with adults and children with intellectual disabilities and mental illness. Graduatin… Read More

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