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Limited Power of Attorney Forms

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A limited power of attorney form allows someone else (the “agent”) to step in for a specific activity on behalf of another person (the “principal”). After the task has been completed, the form will either be voided by the principal or will become invalid after a certain date. This form is meant for temporary powers given to an agent (not long-term), and therefore is a non-durable document. LPOAs are valid for use in every state, although the laws regarding signing vary.

Also known as a:

  • LPOA
  • Special power of attorney

By State

Contents

What is a Limited Power of Attorney?

A limited power of attorney is a document that gives another person permission to handle specific tasks for a fixed period of time. Also known as a “special” power of attorney, the designation is commonly executed for a one-time use. This form must be signed in accordance with the durable signing requirements in the state where the POA will be used.

Common Uses

  • Check (writing)
  • Management
  • Minor (Child)
  • Real Estate
  • Single Transaction ($)
  • Vehicle (buying or selling)

How to Get a Limited Power of Attorney

Getting a limited power of attorney is as simple as selecting an agent, signing it in accordance with state laws, and giving a copy of the document to the agent. Afterward, the agent may sign on behalf of the principal as long as they present the power of attorney document upon request.

Step 1 – Decide the Powers to Give

The principal must decide the power(s) they would like to give to the agent. The powers cannot relate to health care decisions. Possible powers include receiving mail, managing real estate, signing a document, and so on.

Step 2 – Select the Agent

Also known as an “Attorney-in-Fact,” the agent is the person that will have the authorization to handle requests on the principal’s behalf. Due to the limited scope of responsibilities, the principal does not have to worry about the agent’s negligence. This is more of a concern with a durable power of attorney, which remains valid even if the principal becomes incapacitated. The principal usually chooses a person they know well and trust completely, which may be any of the following individuals:

  • Family member (spouse, child, etc.)
  • Close friend
  • Trusted professional

Step 3 – Complete the Form

When it comes time to create the form, it’s best to use the state-specific forms. Most often, this is a statutory form that does not contain durable provisions and requires the principal to enter the agent’s specific powers and instructions onto the form.

Expiration date – Most limited power of attorney documents have an expiration date or an event that triggers the revocation of the form.

Step 4 – Sign It

In most states, a limited power of attorney must be signed in accordance with the laws pertaining to a durable POA. Therefore, it’s best to review the signing requirements for the principal’s state; typically, a notary public and witnesses must observe the signing of the document for it to be valid.

Step 5 – Use the Power of Attorney

Once signed by all required parties, a copy of the LPOA should be given to the agent(s). To perform the duties they were assigned, they may need to present the LPOA to an official entity. For example, if the agent is tasked with selling an automobile, the state DMV will require the agent to display the LPOA before signing over the title.


Sample

Download: PDF, Word (.docx), OpenDocument


How to Write

Download: PDF, Word (.docx), OpenDocument

Step 1 – Principal + Agent Info

At the top of the page, enter the following information:

  1. Name of the person completing the form (the principal).
  2. Principal’s social security number (8 digits).
  3. Name of the agent (the person acting on behalf of the principal).
  4. Agent’s full street address.
  5. Phone number (#) of the agent (preferably cell phone).

Step 2 – Power(s) Granted

In the second section of the form, list any and all actions the agent will be authorized to perform on behalf of the principal. If more lines are needed, the principal can attach an additional form (be sure to note the attachment of an additional form on one of the five (5) lines provided).

Step 3 – Means of Revocation

This section allows the principal to specify how the LPOA will be terminated. Any number of boxes can be selected, and the principal will need to inscribe their initials next to the box(es) selected.

Step 4 – Principal’s Signature

The principal will need to provide the following information:

  1. The state in which the agent will be carrying out duties for the principal.
  2. Date (day, month, and year) on which the LPOA will go into effect.
  3. Signature of the principal (can be written by hand or by using eSign).
  4. Printed full name of the principal.

Step 5 – Agent’s Signature

As confirmation that they understand their duties, the agent will need to enter the following information:

  1. Their printed name (can be written by principal OR agent).
  2. Their signature (eSignatures are OK).
  3. Their full printed name.

Step 6 – Witness Signature(s)

If required by state law, the principal may need to have up to two (2) witnesses verify their signature onto the LPOA. Each witness will need to include the following:

  1. Their signature.
  2. Their printed name.
  3. Address (street, city, state, and ZIP).

Step 7 – Notarization

The principal may be required by state law to have the form notarized. Alternatively, they can opt to have it notarized even if it isn’t a requirement to increase the legitimacy of the LPOA. The section on the last page is to be completed by a Notary Public only.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long is limited power of attorney valid for?

The LPOA remains valid for any amount of time decided by the principal. Since it is a non-durable form, it is not intended to be a permanent contract. In general, the contract will remain active for less than one (1) year, as the agent rarely needs more time to complete the task(s) they have been assigned. With that in mind, the form can be active for many years if it takes that long for the agent to complete their duties.

Does a limited power of attorney need to be notarized?

This is dependent on the state in which the LPOA is being completed. Limited power of attorney forms fall under the same requirements established for durable POAs. The majority of the time it is a requirement for the POA to be notarized. If the agent needs to display the LPOA in a state other than the one it was signed, notarizing the document ensures it complies with all state requirements.

Can a limited power of attorney expire?

Yes, if the principal writes the day, month, and year in which the contract should automatically end. This can be found on the first page of the document offered for download. If the principal finds there is no section that provides a means of ending the LPOA early, they should manually include the section using Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word (to name a couple of options). Furthermore, the LPOA will automatically expire if the principal becomes incapacitated or dies.