There is no part of the estate planning process that anyone really wants to do, but there are certain steps that, at the bare minimum, Texas residents may want to consider doing. One thing in particular that can prove beneficial to anyone is creating a power of attorney. What is a POA, and what are the benefits of having one?
What it is
A POA is a document in which a person — also known as the principal — gives another individual — often referred to as the agent — the power to make legal decisions on his or her behalf. There are two main reasons people use POAs, for medical and financial purposes. A medical POA allows the agent to make health care-related decisions for the principal if the principal becomes incapacitated. A POA that grants the agent the right to make financial decisions can be used if the principal is incapacitated or simply unable to be present for the signing of legal documents.
Why have one?
Individuals who lack a POA give up their right to choose who they wish to act as their agent. If one becomes incapacitated, any random family member or a judge may get to make decisions about one’s health care or finances. Who wants that?
Best to be prepared
A power of attorney gives a person a voice when he or she can no longer speak for him or herself. It doesn’t take long to create one, and the advantages of having it in one’s legal arsenal are priceless. Texas residents who are interested in creating a POA, or any other estate planning documents, can turn to legal counsel for assistance making sure they get precisely what they need to protect themselves, their loved ones and their assets.