A power of attorney is a legal document that grants an individual of your choosing certain rights in regards to your finances, healthcare decisions, and related matters. There are two primary types of financial powers of attorney: durable and non-durable powers of attorney. 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.
There are many reasons to establish powers of attorney; in the event that 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.
Contact Stepp & Sullivan, P.C. at (832) 501-2823 to learn more about establishing powers of attorney. Our Houston estate planning lawyers are here to help.
Understanding the Different Types of Powers of Attorney
As previously mentioned, there are two main types of powers of attorney. However, these are not the only powers of attorney you can establish.
Depending on your particular situation, you may wish to 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 of time during a period of time 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 in the event that you become incapacitated or disabled, which has to 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.
These types of powers of attorney are in addition to durable and non-durable powers of attorney, as outlined above.
Why Establish Powers of Attorney?
There are many benefits to drafting powers of attorney. 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 in the event that 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.
Contact Stepp & Sullivan, P.C. Today
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 estate planning issues. Our powers of attorney lawyers in Houston can help you decide the best choice for your unique situations, needs, and goals.
Call us today at (832) 501-2823 or contact us online to request a consultation.