Powers of Attorneys Lawyers in Houston Protecting You from the Unexpected
Life is filled with unknowns and unexpected twists and turns. While we can’t control unpredictable situations, we can take steps and make choices to plan for the worst.
A power of attorney, for this reason, is a smart component of any estate plan. A power of attorney is a legal document, often part of a collection of legal documents within an estate plan, that gives another person, an “agent,” the power to make financial and business decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. In the case of a durable power of attorney, these rights extend after your death, as well.
Unless it is designated as “durable,” a power of attorney is effective during your life and is null and void after your death. Its role is to make critical decisions in the event you experience an unexpected injury or accident, and your designated agent must make thoughtful, careful, yet quick decisions when you cannot.
Our power of attorney lawyers will help you understand the role of a power of attorney, the benefits of including this in your estate plan, the steps to create one, and the disadvantages that not having a power of attorney could have on you and your family.
Book a free consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys today and learn more about your options: 281-214-6541.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document that grants a person, an “agent,” the authority to make decisions on your behalf when a tragic event occurs, and you cannot speak for yourself. A power of attorney is not all-encompassing and does not influence every aspect of your life.
A power of attorney gives your agent permission to make financial and business decisions unless otherwise directed and specified with the additional power of attorney documents. There are several special types of power of attorneys, which our estate planners with The Hatchett Law Firm, PLLC can help you with:
- A durable power of attorney gives an agent authority over your decisions if you become incapacitated and continues after your death.
- A non-durable power of attorney ends your agent’s power to act if you pass away or at a time specified in the document.
- Springing power of attorney allows your agent to act on your behalf only at the time of your death and after.
- General power of attorney authorizes your agent to act for you in all capacities, including legal, financial, health, and business matters.
- Financial power of attorney is considered a limited type of authority related to your money and property and any decisions that go with it, like paying expenses, bills and managing retirement benefits, or making bank deposits.
- Medical power of attorney allows your agent to make medical choices related to treatment, surgery, and end-of-life care.
The best type of power of attorney will depend on your preferences and the situations you’re planning for, as well as whether you have one or multiple people you can trust (or that can easily work together) with these critical decisions.
What Happens if I Don’t Have a Power of Attorney?
Losing a person you love is an already difficult and strained time.
Not having a power of attorney is similar to not having a will—the court will initiate the probate process to determine a suitable conservator or guardian for any minor children if they’re involved. This adds stress and financial strain your family and friends simply don’t need.
The court will also appoint someone you might not have chosen to make your decisions, and it may not be someone that will make the best ones for your family. Without a power of attorney, you no longer have any control over decisions related to your family, finances, or your assets should you become incapacitated or die.
When you designate an agent during the estate planning process, however, you can choose an agent you trust that will put your and your beneficiaries’ best interests ahead of their own.
Our powers of attorney lawyers with the Hatchett Law Firm, PLLC will be your legal guide during the estate planning process and align your goals, values, and vision for your family with the appropriate legal documents to ensure a seamless transition should the unexpected happen.
How Do I Create a Power of Attorney?
You create a power of attorney as part of the estate planning process.
Estate planning is the overarching process of asset protection and how you protect your assets and express your wishes. An estate plan will work to protect you and your family in the event of your incapacity or death due to injury or illness.
When you work with The Hatchett Law Firm, PLLC we will strategize the best plan for your long-term goals, though we typically recommend these five essential components of an estate plan for every client:
- Last will and testament
- Living trust
- Durable power of attorney (POA)
- Healthcare power of attorney (POA)
- Living will
Regardless of your age or health, a power of attorney makes sense for everyone. The stakes are higher when you have young children to care for and growing assets that demand more decision-making. This might include multiple properties and businesses, for example.
Our estate planning attorneys with The Hatchett Law Firm, PLLC cover all of the bases related to planning for the unexpected with strategic asset protection.
Can a Power of Attorney Lawyer Help Me?
If you have spent your entire life building a family and a lifestyle, the people you love and all of your hard work and earnings deserve protection. One of the most thoughtful things you can do for your loved ones is plan for your future, now, when you have a choice.
Our experienced estate planning attorneys with The Hatchett Law Firm, PLLC can assist in all of your estate planning matters, starting with putting the right strategies in place, from wills and trusts to special needs planning, powers of attorney, declarations of guardians, and more.
Using firsthand industry knowledge, we help you minimize risk, prepare and file the necessary legal documents, as well as provide counsel on:
- Creating a will
- Setting up a trust
- Accommodating special cases like special needs planning or directives to physicians
- Transfer on death deeds
- Designating beneficiaries
- Declaration of guardian
- Establishing sound power of attorney and durable medical power of attorney
- Strategies to reduce or avoid estate tax, altogether
We’ll help you take care of your family. Book a free consultation and learn more about our estate planning process: 281-214-6541.