When Texas residents think about how they can best protect themselves for the future, they may consider drafting one or several powers of attorney. These documents can provide general authority to another person or target a specific area like health care or finances. In some cases, they may provide that person with the right to make decisions right away, while in other cases, a power of attorney may be drafted to go into effect in case the drafter becomes incapacitated in the future. In case of a serious medical issue or a sudden accident, another person would be able to make key decisions about medical care or keep their bills paid in the meantime.

Some people may give one person a general power of attorney, but people can also provide separate powers of attorney to different people. A health care representative designation would name a person to make medical decisions on behalf of the drafter, while a financial power of attorney would name another person to handle their financial accounts. People could also create limited powers of attorney that, for example, allow someone to make payments from the drafter’s bank account but do not allow them to make new investment decisions.

In most cases, these choices can be made clear best by creating separate documents, each granting the specific powers desired to the named agent. Creating separate powers of attorney can allow people to avail themselves of professional expertise in certain areas while also limiting the amount of control any one individual has over key decisions.

Powers of attorney can be one of the most important parts of the estate planning process, allowing people greater peace of mind about the risks of a sudden tragedy. An attorney may work with people to draft the precise documents needed to grant this authority.