No estate plan is complete without one or several ancillary documents to protect themselves in the case they are disabled or otherwise incapacitated. The most common types of ancillary documents are:
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney allows you to appoint another person to make financial decisions on your behalf. Powers of Attorney can be broad, allowing the designated person to do virtually anything that you yourself could do; or narrow, allowing them authority to act on your behalf only in specific situations, such as opening a checking account, selling your house, and paying your taxes. Individuals granted a power of attorney must always act in your best interest and their authority ceases upon your death.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is just like an ordinary power of attorney, except for that it does not go into effect unless you become incapacitated or so ill or incompetent that you can no longer make decisions for yourself.
Medical Power of Attorney
A medical power of attorney is used to appoint someone to make decisions related to your medical care in the event that you become incapacitated or incompetent to make decisions for yourself.
Directive to Physicians
Also known as a medical directive or living will, a directive to physicians dictates to your physician whether or not you want certain life-sustaining procedures withheld if you suffer from a terminal or irreversible condition and cannot communicate your wishes due to disability or incapacity.
Declaration of Guardian
A declaration of guardian outlines your preference for the person or persons who will act as guardian of your estate and/or person if a guardianship is required.
Contact a Texas Estate Planning Attorney for more information regarding ancillary documents.