It is no secret the pandemic has rattled the world. There has been a change of dynamics somewhat that made many residents in Texas reevaluate their preparedness for such unforeseen unfortunate circumstances. Texas residents can employ an essential document, the Texas Durable Power of Attorney, to prepare for scenarios such as incapacitation that render you incompetent to make legal financial and healthcare decisions. In this post, you will learn what a Texas Durable POA is, writing one and using it.
What Is a Texas Durable Power of Attorney?
A Texas durable power of attorney is a legal authorization that the principal grants to an agent to enact decisions on their behalf even after incapacitation. The document is legally binding and allows your agent to cash checks, open bank accounts, and perform other financial transactions for the principal. Texas state laws regulate the contractual relationship between the agent and the principal.
Important: A durable Texas POA is a financial POA; therefore, it allows the agent only to make financial decisions. You will have to apply for a medical power of attorney to authorize your agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
The Lone Star State refers to a durable POA as a statutory. Every POA in Texas must comply with the requirements of section 751.001 onwards.
Texas Durable Power of Attorney Forms
Texas Durable Power of Attorney Requirements
Reading a POA, you will see a term like: “This power of attorney is not affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal.” Some states, such as Louisiana and Texas, have unique POA requirements that make a POA durable. It is essential you understand the requirements to validate a durable POA in Texas and uphold its effectiveness. The following are requirements for making a durable Texas POA:
- The principal must be of legal age (18) and sound mind when creating the POA.
- A notary public should be present during the signing of the POA.
- Regardless of the type of POA, it should include statutory language in compliance with state regulations.
- Scope of authority the principal confers to the agent.
- Statement indicating
Note: Texas does not require the POA to be witnessed, unlike other states. However, a notary public is a necessity when signing the POA into effect.
Online generated POAs usually include all the requirements; however, it is prudent to counter-check any discrepancies that may render your POA invalid. Expressly stating the POA is durable through a phrase like “This power of attorney supersedes incapacitation or any disability,” or similar is a must-have. Texas presumes all POAs are non-durable unless you explicitly state they are durable.
How to Write
Between all the legalese and essential requirements of A POA, it is understandable if you feel overwhelmed at first. A POA confers broad or limited authority over your financial affairs; therefore, take your time to read through the steps on how to write a good POA below:
1. Get a Texas durable POA
Download a statutory form from online templates or source one from your attorney. While seeking the form, avoid software that asks you a few questions and tailor a form. Legal issues usually arise later with such documents.
2. Appoint an agent
Designate an agent or attorney-in-fact who will handle your affairs. The agent can be your kin, attorney, or a work colleague, provided they have attained the legal age and are competent.
Tip: Appoint a trustworthy individual as the agent. A shady agent can contravene the fiduciary duty of the POA to liquidate all your assets, clean out your bank account and move to the Cayman Islands.
3. Complete the declaration
The declaration statement acknowledges that you are granting permission to the agent to enact decisions on your behalf. Templates usually have a drafted declaration that sounds something like “I (principal’s name and address) appoint (agent name and address) to enact the following powers on my behalf.
The declaration statement is usually after the introduction printed in uppercase that states the document is a durable POA. First, read through the opening clause.
4. Define the scope of authority
Outline the tasks your attorney-in-fact will undertake on your behalf. You can get down to the specifics or confer broad authority to your agent. The intelligent choice is to describe the purviews of affairs the agent will manage concisely.
5. Sign the form
Input a dated signature in the presence of a notary public. Also, ask your agent to sign the document. The POA comes into effect immediately you sign it unless you provided a specific condition such as incapacitation that must be met for the POA to spring into use.
Important: Although the form has the name ‘durable,’ you can revoke it anytime. The only catch is you have to be competent to cancel it.
Storing and Using Your Form in Texas
After duly filling and signing the POA, store one copy with your attorney, one with your trusted associate, and one with financial institutions the agent is likely to interact with while undertaking your transactions. Keep the original POA in a safe deposit box.
Yes, Texas and Louisiana are among the states that require a notarized POA. The only difference between Louisiana and Texas is that a notary is essential in Texas. You need a notary public and two witnesses to make the POA valid in Louisiana.
In Texas, a power of attorney is presumably non-durable, while a durable power of attorney states the POA is undeniably durable. A durable POA retains its effectiveness even after the principal’s incapacitation. In contrast, a POA loses authority after the principal’s incapacitation.
No, it is not a necessity. However, it depends on the situation. If you authorize your agent to carry out land transactions on your behalf, you will have to file the POA with the county clerk. You will not error filing the POA with a court.
Durable powers of attorney in Texas are essential estate planning tools every Texas resident must-have. Whether you decide to go it alone or have an attorney draft a POA for you, be deliberate about it. Spend considerable lengths of time choosing your agent and the powers you wish to confer. Prepare for the unexpected by drafting A POA today.