May 25, 2023

Power of attorney for my senior or elderly parents in Texas

Manny Cominsky

If you or a loved one are currently residing in a senior living community or receiving at-home senior care in Texas, then understanding the concept of Texas power of attorney is crucial. Whether you anticipate the need for it in the future or already find yourself in a caregiving role, acquainting yourself with the legal framework surrounding power of attorney is essential. This guide aims to shed light on the broad concept of power of attorney and its specific application and enforcement in the state of Texas. While it is always recommended to consult a local Texas attorney for personalized advice, this article will provide you with a solid foundation on how to obtain power of attorney for your senior parent in the Lone Star State.

Power of attorney overview

Power of attorney is a legal arrangement that grants authority to an individual, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, to act on behalf of another person, referred to as the principal. This authority can extend to various aspects of the principal's life, such as healthcare decisions, financial matters, property transactions, and more. There are a handful of reasons why you might want to consider arranging a Texas power of attorney with your senior or elderly parents.

Managing Finances

As your parents age, their ability to handle financial matters may diminish. Setting up power of attorney enables you to assist with their financial affairs, such as paying bills, managing investments, and accessing bank accounts. This authority becomes especially crucial if your parents are no longer capable of handling financial transactions or if they face physical or mental limitations.

Selling Property

In certain situations, you may find it necessary to sell your parents' home or property on their behalf. With a power of attorney in place, you can navigate the complex process of listing, negotiating, and closing the sale, ensuring that their interests are protected. This becomes particularly relevant if your parents are unable to actively participate due to health issues or if they reside in a long-term care facility.

Healthcare Decisions

Senior parents may face medical conditions that impair their decision-making capacity. Having a medical power of attorney allows you to make healthcare decisions on their behalf, including choosing treatment options, consenting to surgeries or procedures, and managing their medical care. This ensures that their wishes and best interests are upheld when they are unable to voice their preferences.

Assisted Living or Nursing Home Placement

When the time comes for your senior parents to transition to an assisted living facility or nursing home, power of attorney can greatly facilitate the process. You can handle the necessary paperwork, coordinate with healthcare providers, and make informed decisions about the most suitable care options. This relieves the burden from your parents and ensures that their needs are met in a timely and appropriate manner.

Accessing Government Benefits

Obtaining government benefits, such as Medicaid or Social Security, often involves navigating complex procedures and paperwork. With a power of attorney, you can act on your parents' behalf to apply for and manage these benefits, ensuring they receive the financial assistance they are entitled to without unnecessary delays or complications.

Legal and Estate Planning

Power of attorney is an integral part of comprehensive legal and estate planning. It allows you to handle legal matters, such as signing contracts, filing taxes, and managing real estate, on behalf of your parents. This ensures that their legal affairs are properly addressed, providing peace of mind for both you and your elderly parents.

Types of Power of Attorney

In Texas, there are different types of power of attorney that you can consider. Depending on you and your senior loved one’s goals, as well as the scope of the task they want you to accomplish on their behalf, any one of the following types of Texas power of attorney may be appropriate:

General Power of Attorney

This grants broad authority to the agent to act on behalf of the principal in financial and legal matters. However, it is important to note that a general power of attorney becomes invalid if the principal becomes incapacitated.

Durable Power of Attorney

Unlike a general power of attorney, a durable power of attorney remains effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated. This type of power of attorney is often used for long-term planning.

Medical Power of Attorney

This allows the agent to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the principal when they are unable to do so. It is crucial for ensuring that your elderly parent's medical needs are met according to their wishes.

Financial Power of Attorney

With a financial power of attorney, the agent is authorized to handle financial matters on behalf of the principal, such as paying bills, managing investments, and conducting banking transactions.

Requirements for Establishing Power of Attorney in Texas

Each state has its own requirements for creating a valid power of attorney relationship. To set up a power of attorney relationship in Texas, you must adhere to the following requirements:

Legal Capacity: The principal must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind and capable of understanding the implications and consequences of granting power of attorney.

Documentation: The power of attorney must be in writing, signed by the principal or another individual at the principal's direction, and must include specific language indicating the granting of authority.

Notarization and Witnesses: If you are signing a statutory power of attorney then the power of attorney document must be notarized or acknowledged by a notary public to ensure its validity. If you are creating a medical power of attorney, you can have two witnesses instead provided that at least one witness is “disinterested.” 

Ask a local Texas Lawyer

While it is possible to create a power of attorney document on your own, seeking professional legal assistance is highly recommended. An attorney experienced in elder law or estate planning can guide you through the process, ensure compliance with Texas laws, and help you draft a comprehensive power of attorney document that meets your specific needs.

Setting up a power of attorney relationship with your senior parents in Texas is a crucial step in planning for their future. By understanding the different types of power of attorney available and the legal requirements under Texas law, you can ensure that you have the necessary authority to make important healthcare and financial decisions on behalf of your elderly loved ones. Remember to consult with an attorney to ensure that all legal requirements are met and to tailor the power of attorney document to your specific circumstances. Taking these steps will provide you and your senior parents with peace of mind knowing that their affairs are in capable hands.

To learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior living more affordable for you or your loved one, send us an email at or request more information on Sunbound. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and is on a mission to make senior living affordable for everyone.

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