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What is a Power of Attorney (POA)?


A power of attorney (POA) gives allows you to give another person (known as “attorney-in-fact” or “agent”) the ability to make decisions for you. If it is a durable POA, the authorization remains in effect even if you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions due to an illness or accident.

An attorney-in-fact acts as your agent and can act on your behalf on a wide range of legal and business matters, such as: buying and selling property, managing bank accounts, bills, and investments, filing tax returns, applying for government, and other various matters.

What is the major difference between a Power of Attorney (POA) and a Will?

A basic/simple Will becomes effective upon a person’s death. However, a Power of Attorney becomes effective as soon as it is properly executed.

Who should consider having a Power of Attorney (POA)?

There are many individuals that will benefit from having a Power of Attorney (POA), such as:

  • An individual that has a history of mental illness (i.e. Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.)
  • An individual that is scheduled to travel abroad for school, work, or vacation
  • An individual that is disabled, who finds it difficult to sign necessary legal documents in-person
Who should not have a Power of Attorney (POA)?

A person who already has a mental illness or disease should not execute a Power of Attorney (POA). It is unethical for any legal professional to draft a POA for anyone that is not of sound mind and memory.

Does Attorney David Nguyen recommend a Power of Attorney (POA)?

There are different types of Power of Attorney (POA). Attorney David Nguyen only recommends a limited power of attorney that only covers specific situations (i.e. registering a new vehicle, opening a bank account, manage retirement account, etc.) or has a fixed duration.

Unless a person has a family history of mental illness or a special situation warrants it, Attorney David Nguyen would not recommend a general power of attorney or durable power of attorney.

A general power of attorney gives the attorney-in-fact broad authority over a wide range of matters. A general power of attorney only ends when you become mentally or physically disabled or incapacitated.

A limited power of attorney gives the attorney-in-fact authority to handle only a specific matter or for a limited period of time.

A durable power of attorney is similar to a general power of attorney, but continues even after you become mentally or physically disabled or incapacitated.

A medical power of attorney gives the attorney-in-fact authority to make medical treatment decisions for you, if you become mentally or physically unable to make your own decisions.

How do I get rid of a Power of Attorney (POA)?

It is easy to execute a Power of Attorney (POA), but more difficult to revoke it. To revoke a POA, you must notify the attorney-in-fact and any entity (i.e. financial institutions and businesses) that the attorney-in-fact has provided the POA to. This is often difficult, since the attorney-in-fact does not have to disclose this information with you.

For more information on What is a Power of Attorney (POA), a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (281) 777-1236 today. We have two convenient locations in north and south Houston, Texas.

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