Powers of Attorney
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A power of attorney is a legal document that grants an individual of your choosing certain rights regarding your finances, healthcare decisions, and other personal-related matters.
There are many reasons to establish powers of attorney; if you become incapacitated, who will take care of your financial affairs? Who will make medical decisions on your behalf? Establishing powers of attorney allows you to choose someone you trust.
At Stepp & Sullivan, P.C., our powers of attorney lawyers in Houston, Texas provide our clients with the experienced guidance they need to make informed decisions about their futures. We can do the same for you and your family, starting with a confidential consultation.
What Are the Different Types of Powers of Attorney in Houston, Texas?
At Stepp & Sullivan, P.C., our powers of attorney lawyers in Harris County want each of our clients to have all the information they need to protect their future, so no detail is left to chance should an emergency occur. One solution to securing your future is ensuring you have reputable powers of attorneys outlined in a legally binding document.
Durable and non-durable powers of attorney are the two primary types of these contractual positions.
A non-durable power of attorney is typically used for specific financial or real estate transactions or for a set period of time, whereas durable power of attorney is used to grant much more expansive rights to the “agent,” or person put in charge of your affairs.
However, these are not the only powers of attorney you can establish.
Depending on your unique situation and circumstances, you may wish to draft, or have us draft, any of the following:
- General Power of Attorney: This document names an agent who is authorized to act on your behalf in a variety of situations.
- Limited or Special Power of Attorney: This allows the agent to act on your behalf in a specific and limited way, often for a single transaction. This is most common in real estate transactions when you will be out of the country for an extended period during the period that the closing or some other significant event will come to pass.
- Springing Power of Attorney: A springing (durable) power of attorney grants the agent the ability to act on your behalf only if you become incapacitated or disabled, which must be confirmed in writing by qualified physicians.
- Medical Power of Attorney: Whereas other types of powers of attorney cover financial decisions, this allows the agent to make medical decisions for you if you are not able to do so, for example in the event of a coma or serious accident that has rendered you unconscious.
Our Houston powers of attorney lawyers have more than 70 years of combined experience providing our clients with the knowledge they need to secure their futures in the face of uncontrollable circumstances. Protecting your livelihood is an important part of your quality of life.
Why Should I Establish Powers of Attorney?
There are many benefits to drafting powers of attorney in Houston, Texas.
First and foremost, it can offer you peace of mind in knowing that your health, wellbeing, and/or finances will be properly cared for by someone you trust if you are unable to take care of these things yourself.
But beyond this, powers of attorney have many advantages.
For example, you may need to take care of a financial transaction, such as a property title transfer, but cannot be physically present to do so. In this case, you can establish a limited power of attorney, appointing an agent to sign the transaction papers on your behalf.
Another example: you may have a history of genetic, degenerative disease in your family. Creating a medical power of attorney can help you ensure that your family is not left facing tough medical decisions—such as how long to keep you on life support and whether or not you wish to be fed from a feeding tube—in the event that you are affected by the disease.
What are the Legal Requirements for Executing Powers of Attorney in Houston, Texas?
At Stepp & Sullivan, P.C., our powers of attorney lawyers in Houston advise each of our clients on the necessary requirement for appointing this important position, as it is not something to consider lightly.
Executing a power of attorney in Houston, Texas requires several factors to be true, including:
- You must be 18 years of age or older
- You must be of sound mind and know what you are doing when you sign the power of attorney
- A notary public must witness the signing of a power of attorney
- If you are entrusting your agent to conduct real estate transactions for you, the power of attorney document must be filed with the clerk of each county where the property is located
Your power of attorney is not someone who can force you to do one thing over another. He or she can only do the things you want done for you. The power of attorney does not limit your ability to do things for yourself.
Are Powers of Attorney Permanent?
No. Powers of attorney are not always permanent.
There are five instances when a power of attorney ends:
- If you have assigned an ending date to the powers
- If the power of attorney is not a durable one and you become incapacitated
- When you revoke it
- When a guardian of the estate is appointed for you
- When you die
How Can I Revoke the Assigned Powers of Attorney in Houston, Texas?
Our Texas residents have the right to end their powers of attorney at any time.
Revoking your powers of attorney requires you to tell you agent – the person assigned to the position – you are revoking the powers of attorney.
Next, tell the parties working with the power of attorney that the relationship has been revoked.
You must have the mental ability to revoke a power of attorney, and we suggest our clients allow their lawyers to draft the order on paper, so there is no confusion going forward.
Powers of attorney are important positions that require trust, security, and confidence. When you are assigning an agent to the position, everyone involved must know what they are accountable for during the contract’s existence.
At Stepp & Sullivan, P.C., our powers of attorney lawyers in Houston have decades of experience providing our clients with the representation they need to understand each segment of the process, so there are no questions remaining and everyone is on the same page.
Contact Stepp & Sullivan, P.C. Today to Schedule a Confidential Consultation
If you are considering creating powers of attorney, it is a good idea to discuss all your legal options with an experienced lawyer first. There are many factors to consider and multiple options to weigh, so it is wise to speak to someone who understands the law and the potential implications of each option.
At Stepp & Sullivan, P.C., we have decades of experience handling a wide range of issues. Our powers of attorney lawyers can help you decide the best choice for your unique situations, needs, and goals. Contact our powers of attorney lawyers at (713) 336-7200 to schedule a confidential consultation today.