Let's Review Some Vocabulary

Durable power of attorney
A durable power of attorney is a power of attorney in which a principal names an agent whose power to manage the principal’s money and property is not affected by the principal losing the ability to make decisions for himself or herself.

Springing power of attorney
A springing power of attorney is a power of attorney in which a principal names an agent whose power to manage the principal’s money and property springs into existence only after the principal becomes incapacitated. The power of attorney may require a written certification of incapacity by a physician.

Statutory durable power of attorney
A statutory durable power of attorney is a durable power of attorney made using the form adopted by the Texas Legislature.

Medical power of attorney
A medical power of attorney is a power of attorney that names an agent who has the power to make certain medical decisions for the principal. A medical power of attorney may be accompanied by a directive to physicians or an out of hospital do not resuscitate (“DNR”) order. We do not discuss these documents in this Guide. If you want more information about them, contact the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services or click on "Where to Go for Help" in the "Related Resources" section, found in the left sidebar of this toolkit.

Principal
The principal is the person who makes the power of attorney.

Agent or attorney-in-fact
An agent or attorney-in-fact is a person who is named in the power of attorney by the principal to act on his or her behalf. That person is a fiduciary under Texas law.