In Texas there are 2 commonly used power of attorneys (POA). I want to talk about both types of these POAs. You will learn what you can and cannot do with both of these documents. POAs are very useful documents. Used appropriately, both documents will expedite and simplify the process of helping people conduct and live their lives when they need help.

POA documents allow a person (referred to as the principal) to decide in advance whom they trust and want to act on their behalf should they become incapable of making decisions for themselves. The person who is appointed to act on behalf of the principal is called the agent.

What are the two main types of POA?

A medical POA (also known as a health care POA) gives an agent the ability to make decisions about care the principal receives if they are incapacitated.

A financial POA gives an agent the ability to make financial decisions on behalf of the principal.

It is common to appoint one person to act as an agent for both financial and health care decisions, but in some cases it may be wise to separate the two.

What are the Rights and Limitations

in using a POA?

The powers of an appointed agent can be broad or narrow, depending on how the POA document is written. Here are a few examples of the kinds of decisions a principal can allow their agent to make with each type of POA.

What Can a Medical Power of Attorney Do?

● Decide what medical care the principal receives, including hospital care, surgery, psychiatric treatment, home health care, etc.
● Choose which doctors and care providers the principal uses.
● Determine where the principal lives. This includes decisions regarding residential long-term care, such as assisted living, memory care and nursing homes.
● Dictate what the principal eats.
● Choose who bathes the principal.

What Can a Financial Power of Attorney Do?

● Access the principal’s financial accounts to pay for health care, housing needs and other bills.
● File taxes on behalf of the principal.
● Make investment decisions on behalf of the principal.
● Collect the principal’s debts.
● Manage the principal’s property.
● Apply for public benefits for the principal, such as Medicaid, veterans benefits, etc.

What a Power of Attorney Cannot Do?

A generic POA document that does not contain any limitations typically gives an agent broad power over medical or financial decisions. However, there are still a few things that an agent cannot do.

An agent with power of attorney cannot:
● Take any actions that are not in their principal’s best interests
● Change a principal’s will.
● Break their fiduciary duty to act in the principal’s best interests.
● Make decisions on behalf of the principal after their death.
● Change or transfer POA to someone else.

To learn more about the essential estate planning documents every Texans need, click here.

Check out this website. It has very help information on how to effectively use and use various types of Texas powers of attorney