A power of attorney is a type of document that identifies and gives power to a person to make decisions for you in the case of incapacity. While a medical power of attorney authorizes those decisions as related to medical and end-of-life care, an agent identified in a power of attorney document can grant access to financial assets, transfer assets, manage property, and, under some circumstances, sell or mortgage homestead property. The language used in the power of attorney determines what type of decisions the agent will make. Other language can make sure the power is considered “durable,” crucial in incapacity planning.
Based in Houston, McCreary Law Office works with Texas clients to include appropriate powers of attorney as part of a comprehensive estate plan. The office also offers many online estate planning services.
Choosing a power of attorney is an important decision. You might name a spouse, an adult child, or a trusted relative to manage your affairs. It is also possible to name an institutional nominee. Because of the numerous grants of authority, it is possible and advisable to have a medical power of attorney, a living will, and a durable power of attorney in your estate plan, often with different people in your life serving in different roles.
One of the reasons why McCreary Law Office recommends a durable power of attorney as part of an estate plan is that we cannot predict when or if we will lose capacity to make our own decisions or manage our own affairs. A power of attorney can be flexible and apply to many situations. Also, certain acts require very specific grants of authority; thus, the document should be carefully drafted. The scope of the power of attorney is an important consideration, especially if you want your spouse to access assets that cannot be liquidated without joint authorization.
You should work with an estate planning and elder law attorney to discuss the options with about what access you grant to an agent in a power of attorney. When you work with McCreary Law Office, Jana McCreary will explain the specifics for your state law, and together you will determine if you need to update any pre-existing documents. You will also discuss how comprehensive your power of attorney needs to be to meet your objectives. Together, we will determine the best documents to include in your estate plan.
If you would like to talk with Jana about creating a power of attorney or updating existing documents, contact the Houston office directly or complete the online form, and we can schedule an introductory call.
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