A Texas power of attorney is a document that allows another person (the “agent”, or “attorney-in fact”) to perform certain actions for you. The “principal” is the person who creates the power of attorney. Texas generally recognizes financial and medical power of attorney authorizations.
The laws and requirements for power of attorney details differ from one state to the next. Here are some things you should know if you’re thinking about establishing a power-of- attorney in Texas.
What types are allowed in Texas for POAs?
Texas allows two types of power-of-attorney:
Medical power of attorney: This permits your agent to make all medical decisions on your behalf. Your agent can make decisions about your healthcare, including your end-of life care and medications.
Financial power of attorney (or statutory): This permits your agent to make financial decisions regarding your property and finances. These responsibilities can include selling or renting your property or making bank deposits on your behalf, paying your bills, collecting benefits, or even collecting them.
A power of attorney in Texas could also fall under one or more of the following subcategories:
Durable power to attorney: The power of attorney is in effect even if the person becomes incapacitated. If you don’t make your POA permanent, it will expire if you are incapacitated. By stating in your document that the POA will not be affected by any disability, incapacity or other circumstances, you can make both statutory and medical POAs permanent. To ensure that the language is correct and legally enforceable in Texas, consult an estate planning attorney.
The springing power of attorney is only valid if you are incapacitated. All springing POAs can be used for life.
Special or limited power of attorney: These powers allow your agent to only act in a certain way. For example, they can complete a financial transaction on your behalf on a particular day or pay your bills while you are out of town.
The A general power of attorney gives your agent the ability to make many decisions on your behalf and take various actions.
Required to make a power-of-attorney in Texas
To create a Texas power of attorney, you must meet these requirements:
You must have a sound mind and understand the meaning of a power-of- attorney.
You must be at least 18 years of age.
Signatures must be notarized. This means they must be witnessed by a notary public.
A notary public or two competent adults must be present to witness a medical power-of- attorney. The “disinterested” witness must not be you, your spouse, a blood relative, or a health care provider employee.
(anyone who will inherit your assets or have a claim to them after your death). There are some exceptions for POAs that were created outside of the state or military POAs.
Give your agent a copy the POA to prove that you are allowed to act for you.
How to obtain a power-of- attorney in Texas
1. Make your official document
2. Sign your POA together with any witnesses or notaries required
A statutory POA will need to be notarized. For a medical POA, you can have up to two witnesses as long as one is not an “interested” party.
3. Keep the original document safe
Inform your agent about the location of the original and give it to him/her as a reference.
4. Send a copy to all parties concerned.
For example, if your POA deals with real estate transactions, you might need to file a copy at your Texas land records office. This office is located in your county clerk’s offices. You may also want to provide a copy to your banks and other financial institutions, if your agent is involved in financial transactions. You may also want to give a copy to your doctor or other healthcare providers if you are using medical POAs.
Texas Constitution and Statutes. Sec. 751.001. April 20, 2023.