A durable power of attorney is used to appoint someone to manage your financial affairs if you ever become incapacitated. Much like a medical power of attorney, a durable power of attorney can come into play at various points in your life. If an injury or illness makes you unable to manage your finances, the person you designate under your durable power of attorney will be responsible for paying your bills and managing your real estate property and personal assets in accordance with the terms you have put in place.
If you have a statutory durable power of attorney, you might be able to avoid having to get a guardianship of your estate, which could cost you thousands of dollars. You can reference a Statutory Durable Power of Attorney form on The Texas Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) website.
Although it can be helpful to review the form to see what a durable power of attorney entails, you should consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer to find out how to make sure your durable power of attorney documents are properly completed and filed. These forms can be confusing and do not always have the best options for your situation. Although a durable power of attorney can be revoked at any time until you become incapacitated, you do not want to have your signature on a document that does not protect or reflect your wishes.
You decide the powers that you want to grant in your agreement. The most common examples of options included in a durable power of attorney include:
- Paying bills for monthly expenses and health care
- Managing your checking and savings account funds
- Management of your retirement accounts and investment portfolios
- Overseeing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other government program benefits
- Purchasing, changing , or terminating insurance coverage
- Buying and selling real estate and personal property
- Deciding on tax-related issues
You can make your durable power of attorney as general or specific as you would like it to be. You can decide to include specific parameters for assets that can or can’t be sold. You can also direct how certain funds should be used in your absence. If you want, you can put controls in place that make sure the transactions made on your behalf don’t have unforeseen implications on the rest of your estate. When picking the person to carry out your wishes, you should choose someone you trust and who has demonstrated that they are capable of effectively managing your affairs.
At J. Roland Jeter, P.C., we are here to help with all of your estate planning needs. Our legal team can assess your situation and devise an estate plan that protects your interests. We will walk you through the entire process and ensure that your family will be taken care of in the event that you become incapacitated.
Call (972) 330-4050 to setup a free 30-minute consultation with our Irving estate planning lawyer.