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Medical Powers of Attorney and Directives

Does My Texas Medical Power Of Attorney Need To Be Notarized?

by Rania Combs

Many people have medical powers of attorney that they have signed in the presence of two witnesses. They become concerned that their power of attorney is not valid because it has not been signed in the presence of a notary. “Does my Texas medical power of attorney need to be notarized?” they ask.

A Texas medical power of attorney is an important document. It allows you to appoint an agent to make medical decisions for you when you are incapable of making decisions for yourself.

Requirements of a Valid Texas Medical Power of Attorney

In Texas, for a medical power of attorney to be valid, you must either

  1. sign it in the presence of two witnesses who also sign the document; or
  2. sign it in the presence of a notary public.

It’s one or the other.

If you sign the power of attorney in the presence of witnesses, the power of attorney does not require a notary. Likewise, if you sign the medical power of attorney in the presence of a notary, witnesses are not necessary.

Who Can Be a Witness?

If you decide to sign it in the presence of witnesses, you should know that your witnesses must be competent adults. Additionally, at least one of the witnesses cannot be someone who:

  1. you have designated to make health care treatment decisions on your behalf;
  2. you are related to by blood or marriage;
  3. is a beneficiary of your estate;
  4. has a claim on your estate;
  5. is your attending physician;
  6. is an employee of your attending physician; or
  7. is an employee of a health care facility where you reside who is providing direct care to you or is an officer, director, partner, or business office employee of the health care facility or of any parent organization of the health care facility.

For more information about medical powers of attorney read: What Is A Medical Power of Attorney?

This article was initially published on March 19, 2012 and updated on May 8, 2020.


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