What Is A Power Of Attorney?

Daren Brown
By Daren Brown | March 22, 2019
What Is A Power Of Attorney
There are many legal actions and processes that you can set up to not only protect your finances and outline your final wishes, but also to designate who would act on your behalf. A power of attorney applies to protecting your present financial and medical decisions.

How Does a Power of Attorney Work?

A power of attorney allows you to designate a person to act on your behalf in selected matters related to real estate, financial assets, and medical related issues. The power of attorney can go into effect immediately or as soon as you are deemed physically or mentally incapable of decision-making.

Although the rights and responsibilities of the person designated depends on the scope of the agreement, it's important to realize that you don't lose your right to make decisions when you select this representative, you simply ask that trustworthy person to act on your behalf. Lawyers often refer to this as “acting in your best interest.”

This is an extremely specified area when it comes to selecting representatives. For instance, to authorize the documentation, you have to be of “sound mind and body” so that you can outline their responsibilities and instructions.  In the event your power of attorney is based upon lack of mental capacity, by the time this document goes into effect, if it ever does, you will most likely have lost the “soundness” that it once required of you.

What Should I Look For In A Power Of Attorney Representative?

Representatives for power of attorney should be hand-selected and vetted long before they are needed. If you do not have this documentation on file, the court will likely elect a representative for you, possibly in the form of a guardian, which you want to avoid if at all possible.

Trustworthiness and past knowledge should enter the equation for any person or persons designated as your representative in a power of attorney. This ensures that a personalized level of care remains with you until death. After all, as the principal designator, you are asking that the representative to adhere to your wishes until you die.

Who Can Guide Me During The Estate Planning Process?

There are additional regulations as to powers of attorney and the limitations of this power. It isn't recommended that the principal designator try to do this without the assistance of a good lawyer.

Amarillo law firm Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. understands the many, and yet specific, requirements under the law of Texas. Allow our Amarillo estate planning lawyers, such as Darin Mitchell, to guide you so you can properly plan for the future.

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Photo Credit: llyane.stan@rogers.com via Compfight cc

Topics: Estate Planning