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Powers of Attorney

This guide will help you understand the different types of powers of attorney and how to obtain one.

General Information

What is a Power of Attorney?

A “power of attorney” is a written document that authorizes someone (referred to as the agent) to make decisions or take actions on someone else's (known as the principal) behalf.

In Texas, there are several kinds of powers of attorney that will grant the agent the right to accomplish different things on the principal's behalf. This guide will present information about the various kinds, help you understand which may be best for your situation, and link to forms when available.

General Overviews:

General Power of Attorney

What does it do?

A "general power of attorney" is a document that grants the agent very broad rights to act on behalf of the principal.

How long does it last?

A general power of attorney ends:

Why would I need one?

General powers of attorney are used to allow someone to act for you in a wide variety of matters.  For example, general powers of attorney are often used in business dealings to allow an employee to enter into contracts, sell property, spend money, and take other actions on behalf of their client. You may wish to create a general power of attorney if you are still capable of managing your own affairs but would like to have someone else take care of them for you.

Because general powers of attorney terminate when someone is incapacitated, they are not ideal for end-of-life planning or medical directives. Medical powers of attorney and durable powers of attorney (ones that last after or begin upon the incapacitation of the principal) are better alternatives for these situations.

Limited Powers of Attorney

Limited, or special, powers of attorney grant someone else the right to perform very specific actions for you. 

Revoking Powers of Attorney

E-Books Available from the State Law Library

These e-books contain information on powers of attorney. These e-books can be viewed by those who have signed up for a free library account with the State Law Library. Only Texas residents are eligible to sign up.