Texas Power of Attorney Forms
The Texas Power of Attorney Forms are created by a party known as the Principal so that they may delegate one or more tasks to another party known as the Agent. In order for the Agent to uphold their legal responsibility to the Principal, the Principal must agree to bestow certain decision making powers to the Agent. These powers may be related to personal affairs (e.g. the care of their children), business affairs (e.g. the management of company finances), or legal duties (e.g. the filing of taxes).
What is a Texas Power of Attorney?
A Texas Power of Attorney is a legal document that establishes the necessary legal requirements for an individual to delegate particular tasks and duties of their choosing to another person. State law does not impose heavy requirements for a Power of Attorney to be enacted—the Principal is the only party required to sign the document, no witnesses or a Notary Public is necessary, and the document does not need to be filed with a court. That being said, arranging for at least two (2) witnesses or an authorized individual, such as a Notary Public, to acknowledge their signature will best safeguard the Principal’s interests and help to ensure the process is lawfully conducted.
- Texas Power of Attorney Laws – (Title 2, Chapter 751, “Durable Powers of Attorney”) and (Title 2, Chapter 166, “Advance Directives Act”)
- State Definition of Durable Power of Attorney (§ 751.002(4)) – “means a writing or other record that complies with the requirements of Section 751.0021(a) or is described by Section 751.0021(b).”
- State Definition of an Advance Directive / Medical Power of Attorney (§ 166.002(1)) – “means: (A) a directive, as that term is defined by Section 166.031; (B) an out-of-hospital DNR order, as that term is defined by Section 166.081; or (C) a medical power of attorney under Subchapter D.”
- Signing Requirements
- General / Durable Power of Attorney (§ 751.0021) – Signed by the Principal, or in their conscious presence by another adult directed by them to sign their name.
- Advance Directive / Medical Power of Attorney (§ 166.032) – A Declarant (the Principal) must sign an Advance Directive in the presence of two (2) witnesses, who must also sign the document. At least one (1) of the witnesses must be qualified for such a responsibility, as per the witness criteria in § 166.003. Alternatively, the Declarant may have their signature acknowledged before a Notary Public.
Durable (Statutory) Power of Attorney – Durability in terms of this type of legal instrument means, as defined by state law, that it is “not affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal.”
General (Financial) Power of Attorney – A Power of Attorney that immediately discontinues if the principal is deemed disabled or incapacitated as per the definitions set out by state law.
Limited (Special) Power of Attorney – Any Power of Attorney that is enacted to achieve a specific, instead of broad purpose is referred to as a Limited POA.
Advance Directive / Medical (Health Care) Power of Attorney – In the state of Texas, any person (referred to as the declarant) may execute an Advance Directive in order to record their end of life wishes in law.
Minor Child Power of Attorney – Parents or guardians who are unable to fulfill their parental or guardianship duties to their child at all necessary times must make other arrangements, such as nominating an attorney-in-fact in a Minor Child Power of Attorney form, to legally assure their child’s continued care and safety.
Motor Vehicle Power of Attorney (Form VTR-271) – The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles provides this straightforward form that once completed, grants an agent (referred to as the grantee) the “full power and authority to perform every act necessary and proper to purchase, transfer, and assign the legal title to the motor vehcle described on behalf of the grantor.”
Download – Adobe PDF
Real Estate (Property) Power of Attorney – Any real estate matters that an individual wishes for another party (whether another individual or entity) to manage for them must be clearly noted in this legal document.
Revocation of Power of Attorney – For a principal to retract a POA of any kind, they must use a written instrument, such as this one, to make their decision legally known.
State Tax Filing Power of Attorney (Form 01-137) – A limited POA that satisfies the statutory requirements that must be met in order for a taxpayer to elect an agent to represent them before the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
Download – Adobe PDF
When is it Effective?
For a General / Durable Power of Attorney to be effective, § 751.0021 only requires that it is signed by the Principal, or by another adult they direct to sign their name in their conscious presence. As aforementioned, it is strongly recommended that the Principal signs the document in the presence of two (2) witnesses as well as an authorized individual such as a Notary Public.
The law § 166.032 states that for an Advance Directive / Medical Power of Attorney to be valid and effective, the Declarant (the Principal) is required to sign it in the presence of two (2) witnesses, who must also sign the document. At least one (1) of the witnesses must meet the requirements set out by § 166.003. The Declarant also has the option of signing the POA before a Notary Public in lieu of witnesses.