If you need to sign a financial document but are not in the country, you can grant someone else a general power of attorney in Texas to sign it on your behalf. Or you may want to create a power of attorney to give someone the authority to deal with your affairs should you become incapacitated.
You don't have to have a legal qualification (or any qualifications, for that matter) to get a general power of attorney. A general power of attorney is a legal document granting a person, known as the "agent" or "attorney in fact," the authority to take certain actions on behalf of another person, known as the principal.
Texas Power of Attorney Requirements
The main reasons for granting a power of attorney are to allow someone else to engage in some type of financial activity on your behalf if you cannot be present to do so yourself (for example, if you are out of the country), and to give someone else the authority to deal with your financial matters should you become physically or mentally disabled or incapacitated.
Any adult may create a general power of attorney in Texas. The document must include one of the following statements:
"This power of attorney is not affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal." This creates a durable power of attorney and gives the agent immediate authority.
"This power of attorney becomes effective on the disability or incapacity of the principal." This creates a springing (and durable) power of attorney, but the agent will not have authority unless the principal becomes disabled or incapacitated.
Power of Attorney Texas Law
The Texas power of attorney statute is the Texas Estates Code section 752.051. This section provides the exact content of the form you need to complete to get power of attorney. It lists various types of powers to be granted or withheld by the principal, such as the power to act in respect of real property transactions, banking transactions and tax matters.
Getting General Power of Attorney in Texas
Visit the Texas Human and Health Services website to download the free power of attorney form in Texas PDF. The form lists various types of powers, with a blank line before each. To give your agent every power on the list, initial on the line before the last item. This creates a general power of attorney. If you want to give your agent only certain powers, initial before each power you wish to grant. This creates a limited power of attorney.
Once completed, the power of attorney must be dated and signed by the principal before a notary public or other person authorized in Texas or any other state to "take acknowledgments to deeds of conveyance" and administer oaths.
- Hand and document at the meeting image by Dmitry Goygel-Sokol from Fotolia.com