Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Powers of Attorney.

Well, I've been poking these Interwebs for many years now. I mostly write about nature and local arts. Periodically I run across interesting legal stories. I'll begin to post those here, as well as some general legal information. This is not intended as legal advice, because that requires more conversation that can be done on a blog.

Recently I've run across people who are asking for legal recommendations for lawyers that do wills and powers of attorney. I've been doing those for many years. There are products that you can purchase online. However, you need to be really cautious about that. While it is true that the forms are relatively standard, this does not replace the sound advice of a good lawyer.

What are these things anyway?

A power of attorney is a document that authorizes another person to act in your behalf. It should only be given to someone you trust absolutely. If you have a question about it, don't do it. It can save thousands of dollars if you are incapacitated. Without a power of attorney, you would need a very expensive procedure called a Guardianship.

There's another document called a power of attorney for health care. This is exactly what it sounds like.

Finally, there is a Directive to Physician. This only applies if you are in a terminal state and contains a directive to your physician about the procedures you do or do not want.

You may have heard horror stories about probate, but the fact is that Texas probate is relatively simple and does not have to be costly . Most problems can be avoided by having a simple will.

It really is important for people to have durable powers of attorney, durable powers of attorney for health care, and advance directives (sometimes called living wills). These documents will avoid the vast majority of problems you can have in an estate in Texas.

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