I have my Dad's Power of Attorney, and he is in assisted living and hospice. I was the backup for his wife who died. Since I'm single, can I appoint someone else in case something happens to me? Or if I create a Power of Attorney for myself, can that person step in the shoes of my Dad's Power of Attorney?

The concern is that if something happens to me, would the state come in to assign a ward/guardian for my Dad?

My Dad can still sign his name, but he wouldn't understand what he is signing.

Side note. I'm also the trustee of his trust, and the backup for it is his wife's sister. However, I'm not sure she would want the responsibility of his care.

(Located in Texas)

1 Answer 1


The rules for a Texas power of attorney are summarized in this page from Texas Lawhelp. The actual law is 2005 Texas Probate Code CHAPTER XII. DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY ACT

Both of these indicate that the agent (aka attorney-in-fact) must be specifically named in the POA document. My experience with a POA in a similar situation in NJ is that multiple agents may be named, or backups in case the primary agent dies or is not available. However the Texas pages do not specifically say that. But in any case the agent or agents must be named in the POA signed by the principal, who must be of sound mind at the time the POA is signed.

An agent does not have the power to name a replacement or backup agent. An Agent might be able to give a POA to another person to act in the agent's place, but that POA would lapse if the agent died, and the law does not specifically permit this, so it might not be valid in any case.

A Texas court can appoint a Guardian for an incompetent person, and such an appointment takes precedence over an existing POA. That would be a way to deal with the situation if there is reason to think the agent might die or become unavailable while the principal is mentally incapable.

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