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Tempting Fate without Power of Attorney Documents

What Happens if You Need Life-Saving Decisions and Medical Directives Without Appointing a Power of Attorney? 

Southlake Estate Planning Attorney Leslie Barrows cautions against tempting fate without power of attorney documents and in this short article, we explain how easy it is to buy peace of mind and the legal protection that is your right in being protected, just in case.

With Saint Patrick’s Day being a popular March holiday, the concepts of luck and fate are in our minds more than usual. These concepts resonate with some people, yet many of us tempt fate every day, whether we know it or not. If you question your luck, you might otherwise want to cover your assets with legal protection in power of attorney documents.

Texas Almanac: Test Your Knowledge of the Irish in Texas History and the Trinity Irish Dancers! 

Most serious car wrecks occur close to home. Don’t wait for an overseas trip to get your power of attorney documents created and updated. Because you are more likely to be injured any given day, in your home town of Southlake or in the greater DFW area, you need power of attorney documents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration collaborated with auto insurance companies and determined that more than 50 percent of car wrecks occur within five miles of a driver’s home, and 70 percent of them occur within ten miles. 

NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2020

Barrows Firm is a great place to get peace of mind with estate planning documentslike wills and power of attorney documents. Anyone and everyone needs a power of attorney so that their wishes and directives are honored if and when they are unable to make decisions or conduct business on their own. Parents of college-age students need to be aware of how important it is to be prepared: Young Adults Going to College Need a Power of Attorney.

In the simplest form of understanding, know that without a power of attorney document, medical professionals have to guess how to treat you and assume your medical wishes if they cannot find or must determine by statute who can make your care decisions. And without a power of attorney, any financial or business transactions are going to have to wait for you to regain your ability to do business. What a nightmare it can be if something happens to any one of us and we don’t have those necessary power of attorney documents, giving our most trusted people the ability to make important decisions and transact on our behalf.

Free Download: Barrows Firm Estate Planning Guide

Medical Power of Attorney for Healthcare – Medical Decisions and Directives 

Medical Power of Attorney applies when you cannot make your own medical care decisions and someone you trust is appointed to make these important decisions for you. Depending on the type of medical procedure, your wishes and directives can be spelled out very specifically in your medical power of attorney document, so the agent appointed is limited to the types of decisions you authorize them to make. Even in minor surgeries, if someone is anesthetized, something can happen, and the agent might need to consent to something. You can try and test fate, but wouldn’t it be nice to be on the safer side? 

Without a medical power of attorney, if a patient needs medical treatments, there are state laws that determine who else may be on the list to give consent, such as a spouse, adult child, or relative. Do you want to let it to chance that this other person is readily identifiable and available? 

In any local trauma bay at a DFW hospital, some people were doing simple, daily tasks, minding their own business, doing nothing wrong, and are now receiving urgent care and treatment for life-threatening injuries. It is so easy to prevent a family’s tragedy when we are prepared for emergencies.  

Durable Power of Attorney for General Business – All Financial and Property Interests 

Durable Power of Attorney is used to make plans for the care of finances, property, and investments in the event one cannot conduct financial affairs on their own, for a certain reason. The Texas Estates Code authorizes an individual to appoint an agent as their representative to make handle their financial matters following the terms of the power of attorney which states what events must occur for the powers to be activated when the principal is unavailable. The document creating the power of attorney relationship includes the time specified, and the tasks to be carried out and once the condition of termination occurs, the principal dies, or the principal revokes the power of attorney, those power of attorney rights are terminated. 

Let’s talk about jail for a moment, and while we know it would never happen to someone we know, it happens to everyone. There were 25,000 Texas drunk-driving crashes in 2021, and 24 percent of all traffic deaths were attributed to drunk driving. 

Examples and Scenarios Where Everyone Benefits From Having Power of Attorney Documents: 

• Heading Overseas for Vacation or Work Trip; 

• Getting Older or Illness Requires Medical Care; 

• Job Assignment Putting You in Risk of Harm, or Out of Town; 

• Kids Going Off to College or Even Summer Camp; 

• Parents who Want to Protect their Children if Something Happens; 

• Upcoming Surgery, Even Routine Where Complications Could Arise; 

• Being Responsible to Others or Business Obligations 

Barrows Firm Estate Planning Solutions Include Customized Power of Attorney Documents 

Southlake Estate Planning Attorney Leslie Barrows has the benefit of many years in family practice, including juvenile law, criminal defense, and other legal arenas and she has seen some things in her career. This makes Attorney Barrows a uniquely experienced estate planning attorney who can customize your power of attorney documents to take effect when you chose, and include all the terms and provisions that buy you that peace of mind you and your family want. And when you use experienced legal counsel at Barrows Firm in Southlake you know you will have answers to all your questions and power of attorney documents that are enforceable and effective in protecting your family when you cannot. 

What Happens When You Die Without a Will in Texas? Get a Will and Power of Attorney Documents 

If you die in Texas, without a will, a Probate Court applies Texas Intestacy Laws and distributes your assets to your spouse and closest relatives. Depending on the Court, the property can be distributed directly by Court Order, or it can be sold and the money from the proceeds will be distributed to the next of kin as described in the intestacy statute. 

If you die in Texas, without a will, the Court will determine who will take care of them and their inheritance, which will be held in a trust until they reach the age of majority. This is an important message to single parents with primary custody. Living non-primary parents are often the first in line to assert their parental rights and ask for sole conservatorship, which can trigger lawsuits among families. 

Yes, family members can intervene in proceedings where someone dies without a will, but the Court is not bound to follow any of their requests. This is a preventable situation, and anyone living with or without children should get a will prepared and give their loved ones some peace of mind. 

Learn more at or by calling (817) 481-1583.