When a Texas resident prepares for the future by creating an estate plan, they might not pay as close attention to a power of attorney as they do other issues like a will or a trust. That does not reduce its importance.
Being unable to oversee one’s affairs can lead to confusion. This is particularly relevant for people in their 40s and 50s who own a business and have significant assets. They might be prepared for the future with an estate plan, but are not thinking about a complicated scenario in which a person needs to step in for them and adhere to their wishes.
The attorney-in-fact is a key role with significant responsibility
The attorney-in-fact will be granted a wide range of powers. Before selecting a person to serve in this role, it is crucial to know whether they can handle the duties in an aboveboard and competent way.
The attorney-in-fact will have the right to complete business transactions; seek payment for money owed to the business; give gifts of the person’s property; purchase or sell property; and make substantive changes to standing agreements.
The attorney-in-fact could be a business associate, a relative or a friend. Other factors that might be relevant include where they live, if they have a good personal history, and if they have the time to serve in the role as needed.
Not having a power of attorney can put loved ones in a difficult spot where they are unsure of what to do if the person cannot make decisions on their own. It could compel them to seek a conservatorship or guardianship. A power of attorney and named attorney-in-fact avoids this and could be a vital part of estate planning.
Choosing an attorney-in-fact requires careful consideration
The power of attorney need not be all-encompassing. It can be limited or extensive. Knowing the rights given to an attorney-in-fact is a fundamental part of choosing the right person. It is useful to be aware of what they can and cannot do and how the entire process works before picking a person to perform the duties.