Do I Need a Durable Power of Attorney?

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A durable power of attorney or durable POA is a legal document that authorizes someone else to act for you in legal or financial matters. You can use a durable POA to permit someone else to buy or sell real estate for you, sign checks and tax returns, or access funds from your accounts.

Depending on the language in your durable POA, you can make the document effective immediately, or only in the event that you become incapacitated. At Texas Wills Online, our customers usually elect to make the durable POA effective only if they become incapacitated.

When is it advisable to get one?

If you become seriously ill or incapacitated in the future, you may be unable to pay your bills, deposit checks, or make other transactions. Authorizing your spouse, child, or another trusted party to act on your behalf can ensure important matters are attended to, even if you can’t take care of them personally.

Another instance when you might wish to obtain a durable POA is if you are traveling abroad, and may need legal or financial matters attended to in your absence. In this case, you may wish to make the durable POA effective immediately, so that a designated agent can act in your place.

Could a Durable Power of Attorney allow someone else to take control of my assets or make medical decisions for me, without my knowledge or approval?

If you are still able to make decisions yourself, you will be the only party authorized to do so, assuming your POA is effective only in the event you become incapacitated. However, it is important to understand that by creating a durable POA, you are authorizing another party to make decisions for you if you do become incapacitated. In this event, you will not be able to give your approval.

So — do I need a Durable Power of Attorney or not?

If you answer “yes” to any of the three questions below, you could stand to benefit from a durable POA.

Do you have an income?

Do you own property?

Are you concerned about health problems?

How do I obtain a durable power of attorney?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider obtaining a Durable Power of Attorney. It’s easier and less expensive than you might think. For only $50, you can get a custom attorney prepared Durable POA.