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Understanding your power of attorney options in Texas

When you’re building an estate plan, one thing you should think about is who you’d like to have as your power of attorney. In fact, there are several kinds of power of attorney that you may want to use, and you could choose to designate several people to fulfill those roles.

In Texas, there are two main kinds of power of attorney. The first is a statutory durable power of attorney. The second is a medical power of attorney. On top of these, you have the option to use a medical directive to physicians, also known as a living will, which, technically, is a third power of attorney document that keeps you in control.

Statutory durable power of attorney

With your statutory durable power of attorney, you’ll be filling out a document that assigns a family member to help you with daily affairs if you cannot handle them on your own. For example, if you have to go into a nursing home, the durable powers of attorney may trigger and allow your child to take over your financial matters, like making payments on bills.

Medical power of attorney

You will also want to consider having a medical power of attorney. This is a document that assigns at least one person the power to make medical decisions on your behalf. You can choose a family member, friend or other party to take over this role. Usually, it’s a good idea to pick someone who is familiar with medicine or who has the capability of understanding the options open to them while selecting the best care for you.

Living wills

Along with these two other kinds of power of attorney, you should have a living will in your estate plan. This document gives directions to your family and doctors if you cannot speak for yourself. The document helps you make sure that your wishes are known and followed, so you don’t receive treatments you don’t want and do receive those you’d like to try.

These are three powerful, important documents. It’s a good idea to establish them now and to update them as you age. Over time, you may opt to have different people take on these roles.

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