Elder Law Attorneys Helping You Plan For The Future

How long does a power of attorney last?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2023 | Estate Planning

You can use different documents in your Texas estate plan to achieve different financial and personal goals. Wills and trusts are helpful when your main concern is ensuring the appropriate descent of your property. Powers of attorney can prove important for those worried about health emergencies.

Whether you worry about what would happen to your children if you were left in a coma after a car crash or you watched your parents decline due to Alzheimer’s disease, you may recognize that it is important to consider the possibility of future incapacitation.

A medical power of attorney allows someone to handle your care decisions when you are unable to speak for yourself, and financial power of attorney gives someone the authority to access your financial resources and manage your obligations. How long will those powers of attorney retain their authority, and do you have to worry about them contradicting your testamentary documents?

Your powers of attorney can protect you for life

Provided that your lawyer includes the right language to make your documents durable, your powers of attorney will retain their legal authority even after you experience permanent incapacitation. However, you don’t have to worry about your powers of attorney contradicting your estate planning documents.

When you die, the authority to handle your affairs transfers to the executor or representative that you named in your estate planning documents or that the probate courts appoint. In other words, you don’t have to worry about the agents who handle your affairs arguing with the executor who will take care of your estate.

Diversifying who you depend on can be a smart move

Someone who has already had years of personal responsibility to care for you and manage your finances as your attorney-in-fact could potentially serve as your executor as well.

However, it is common practice for people to name different individuals for different roles in their estate plans. The likelihood of your agent or executor passing away or becoming incapacitated at the same time as you is lower when you have different people named to hold those different roles in your estate.

Learning more about the rules that govern durable powers of attorney can help you feel more confident about including them in your estate plan.