The Texas power of attorney is a document that grants authority to one person, the agent, to represent another person, the principal, before third parties.
This type of document is usually issued if the principal:
Reasons for Authorization
Is of old age and uncertain mental or physical health
Is located far from the place where they need to take the certain activity
Wants to authorize another person to represent their interests in case they become incapacitated
Wants to authorize the residential care facility they live in to manage their financial and other matters
Types of Power of Attorney in Texas
Texas Durable (Statutory) Power of Attorney Requirements
This type of Texas power of attorney remains effective even after the principal becomes incapacitated. The principal can provide that the document will become effective if they become incapacitated or right from the moment it is issued.
Texas General (Financial) Power of Attorney Requirements
If the principal wants to authorize another person to take all the necessary actions that are in their interest, they should issue the Texas general power of attorney. This type of document doesn’t limit the scope of activities the agent can undertake on behalf of the principal.
Texas Limited (Special) Power of Attorney Requirements
The limited power of attorney, unlike the general, provides a limited list of activities the agent is allowed to take. This limitation can also be extended to the third parties the agent is allowed to interact with on behalf of the principal.
Texas Parental (Minors) Power of Attorney Requirements
The parent or guardian of a minor can use this type of power of attorney to authorize another person to make decisions about the minor’s healthcare, education, and more. Considering the importance of the authority they are delegating, they should choose a trustworthy person as an agent.
Texas Medical Power of Attorney Requirements
The principal can use the medical power of attorney to grant authority to the agent to make healthcare decisions on their behalf in case they become incapable of making their own decisions. Due to the importance of this document, the principal’s signature must be acknowledged by two witnesses.
Texas Springing Power of Attorney Requirements
This type of Texas power of attorney becomes effective only under conditions stipulated by the principal. It can be on a specific date or after a specific event. The principal usually stipulates that the document becomes effective only if they become incapacitated.
Texas Vehicle Power of Attorney Requirements
The principal can authorize another person to buy or sell the vehicle on their behalf using the Texas vehicle power of attorney. Additionally, the principal can grant authority to someone to take care of all of the activities regarding the vehicle title transfer and registration at the Texas DMV.
Texas Revocation Power of Attorney Requirements
The principal can use this type of document to revoke any previously issued powers of attorney. The principal must identify the power of attorney they wish to revoke by providing the date it was issued and the name of the agent.
Texas Tax Power of Attorney Requirements
If the principal wants to grant authority to their accountant or their tax advisor to represent them before the Texas tax authorities, they should use the Texas tax power of attorney. The tax agent can be authorized to:
Scope of Authorization
File tax returns
Collect information from the tax office
Sign the tax documents
Make tax payments
Texas Real Estate Power of Attorney Requirements
This document can grant authority to the real estate agent to negotiate and execute the real estate transaction on behalf of the principal. They can also authorize the agent to manage and maintain their property using the same type of power of attorney.
Legal Requirements for a Power of Attorney in Texas
Every Texas power of attorney must be in line with the following requirements:
Signature. The document must be signed by the principal or another person directed by the principal.
Witnesses. The Texas medical power of attorney must be acknowledged by two witnesses who fulfill the requirements under Section 166.003.
Notarization. Every Texas power of attorney must be acknowledged by the notary public or other officer authorized to take acknowledgments to deeds of conveyance or to administer oaths. (§ 751.0021)
Statutory language. The document must contain the words:
“This power of attorney is not affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal,” or,
“This power of attorney becomes effective on the disability or incapacity of the principal.”
Who Can Be an Agent for a Power of Attorney in Texas?
The agent can be any adult with legal capacity.
However, when choosing the agent, you should look for a person who is:
Trustworthy, especially when delegating important authorities related to financial or medical matters.
Capable of representing you. The agent must be located near the place where certain action needs to be taken and must be willing to represent you and protect your interests.
Having certain skills or professional knowledge. If you need help with certain legal or tax-related matters, you want to authorize a person with certain knowledge in these fields to be your agent and represent you.
How to Create a Texas Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney in Texas
#1. Decide on Which Type of Document to Use
Choose the type of power of attorney according to the matter you need help with and the scope of authority you wish to delegate to the agent.
#2. Select an Agent
It should be a person over 18 years old with the legal capacity, capability, and willingness to represent you before third parties.
#3. Define the Agent’s Powers
You have two options:
Issue the general power of attorney and authorize the agent to take all the necessary actions that are in your interest, or
Issue the limited power of attorney and provide the list of authorities the agent is allowed to take.
#4. Download & Fill in Our Form
The best and fastest way to get a Texas power of attorney that is in line with all the local rules and regulations is to download one of the power of attorney templates available on our website.
#5. Get It Signed & Notarized
The document must be signed by the principal or in the principal's conscious presence and acknowledged by the notary public or other relevant authority.
#6. Safely Store the Original Copy
You should always keep the original copy of your Texas power of attorney in your possession. Another copy can also be provided to the agent or co-agents, so they can prove their capacity before the third parties.
#7. Provide Copies to Relevant Parties
Every third party that the agent is interacting with on behalf of the principal should also have a copy of the power of attorney for their reference.
#8. Update the Document as Needed
If any of the relevant details in your Texas power of attorney change after the document is issued, you should update it. The best way to do it is to issue a new power of attorney with updated information.
How Long Does a Power of Attorney Last in Texas?
A Texas power of attorney becomes effective after it is issued or at the time provided in the document. This moment can be a specific date or a specific event that might happen in the future. In practice, the principal provides that the power of attorney will become effective only if they become incapacitated.
The main reasons for the Texas power of attorney termination are the following situations:
Reasons for Termination
The principal passes away
The principal loses capacity (only in the case of a non-durable power of attorney)
There is a document expiration date set
The purpose for which the document is issued is completed
The agent passes away or becomes incapacitated and there is no co-agent or successor agent
Texas Power of Attorney FAQ
You should use a Texas power of attorney in every situation in which you are not able to represent yourself. This can be due to old age, mental or physical illness, or absence from the place where certain actions must be taken.
A power of attorney enables another person to take certain actions on behalf of the principal as if the principal would take them personally.
Yes, each Texas power of attorney must be notarized in front of a notary public or other official responsible for acknowledging documents of this kind.
Even if you’ve already created the will, you should also create the power of attorney. The main difference between these documents is that a will allocates your property after you pass away, while a power of attorney protects your interests during your lifetime.