A limited power of attorney (POA) is sometimes called a specific power of attorney or special power of attorney. It sets the scope of authority granted to a named and trusted ‘attorney’ (referred to as an agent or an attorney in fact in most states) by a ‘principal’ (the named individual giving their permission) who grants the other party specific powers to make decisions related to their personal or professional life. This document may or may not give durable power.
A limited POA details:
It’s imperative that the principal details the agent's authority to sign documents or give instructions in the best interest of the person giving them the power. The details are important because the POA may be shown to third parties to prove that the attorney in fact is acting within their legal capabilities. This POA may only cover a single matter, such as signing a specified contract which the person granting power is unable to do due to anticipated absence or to make allowance for potential sickness.
Scope and Limitations: A limited POA may apply to a single area of activity, such as the handling of investments. For example, an investment manager, acting as agent, may have authority to:
In this case, the ‘limited’ power may refer to the fact that the account holder, or another authorized agent, manages other key investment account functions, such as cash withdrawals, beneficiary alteration, or other significant details.
Both the agent and the principal should keep a copy of the signed and notarized legal document for their records.
You can use this power of attorney for any activities carried out by the principal who is not able to carry out their responsibilities, either due to anticipated absence or sickness contingency planning. Remember, the purpose of this document is to give specific direction. It does not cover every situation. Other POAs you may want to consider are general power of attorney and springing power of attorney.
People who may find this power of attorney useful are:
Anyone who is over the age of 18 and who may be unable to manage their own affairs in the future due to an anticipated absence or a physical or mental disability that prevents them from making their own decisions may find a limited power of attorney ideal. For example, an active military member who is going overseas may choose to use a limited power of attorney to nominate someone in the United States to handle their personal affairs in their absence.
This is our guide to power of attorney (POA) forms for American-born children of undocumented parents. While there are numerous situations in which POAs are useful, we focus here on undocumented families. POAs are important documents to have in place for families with undocumented members should they face detainment or deportation. In a moment in which political capital is increasingly spent on “securing borders” and arousing fears of undocumented immigrants, we hope this guide helps alleviate a small amount of the stress undocumented families constantly live with by providing tips for how to put processes and documents in place to protect your loved ones in the event of a detainment.
Under federal law, when an undocumented immigrant gives birth in the United States, their child is born as a U.S. citizen. According to 2013 census data, over 4 million US-born persons under the age of 18 have at least one undocumented parent. According to 2013 data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), roughly half a million children saw an undocumented parent detained or deported between 2011 and 2013. As of 2011, 5,000 US-born children were placed in foster care because their parent(s) were deported. Between 2010 and 2012, ICE deported more than 200,000 undocumented parents with citizen children.
ICE has the authority to detain or deport any undocumented immigrant found in the US. While those at risk of deportation have the right to appear in front of an immigration judge before deportation, undocumented persons facing deportation have far fewer legal protections than citizens. Until recently, ICE did not actively seek out law abiding undocumented parents.
The US-born children of undocumented immigrants are entitled to certain rights. Those include:
There are a few things a child can do to ensure greater legal protections for their undocumented parents. If your parents live outside of the country, US law allows a US citizen to petition for undocumented parents to become citizens. However, the citizen-child must be at least 21 years old. Further, the child also has to be currently living in the US and must earn an income sufficient enough to support their parents upon arrival.
If your parents are living undocumented in the US, there are few options available. Typically, parents must live outside the US for ten years before applying for a green card. Only in rare cases can parents obtain a waiver of unlawful presence. Obtaining this waiver is expensive and usually requires a lawyer.
Obviously, a deportation and the resulting separation of a family is the worst case scenario for a family. While families with undocumented members often live in constant fear of separation, we recommend putting measures in place to minimize the financial and legal impact of deportation. Here’s our checklist:
If you do not want your child(ren) to go with you to your country of citizenship, you should create a power of attorney (POA) that appoints another caregiver for the children that becomes active if you’re deported. Make sure the POA authorizes the caregiver to make decisions pertaining to your kids’ travel, healthcare, and schooling. However, with a POA, you can only appoint a caregiver for a finite period of time, which varies by state. The POA can also include instructions for how /and when children will reunite with you.
When choosing a caregiver for your children, make sure they meet the following requirements:
Kinship caregivers (relatives or family friends) are most preferable. If you have multiple children, you may choose a different person to care for each child, especially if the associated economic cost is too burdensome for a single person.
Make sure you set up a UTMA (Uniform Transfer to Minors Act) bank account for your child(ren). A UTMA account will make it easier for your appointed caregiver to access funds for your child’s expenses. If you are leaving significant financial resources, you should consider establishing a trust. If you choose a trust, be sure to include access requirements in your POA.
As with the above section, we recommend having an emergency plan in place in case your family faces a deportation, which usually occurs without advanced notice. A family emergency plan should contain all of the important info that a child and/or their caregiver will need if a parent is detained. That information includes:
If some members of your family are undocumented, we recommend you meet with an immigration lawyer to learn about your possible legal rights and risks. Here is a list of basic questions to ask an attorney:
Immigration, especially in our current political climate, is a highly-divisive issue. More importantly, it’s one that threatens the families of the nearly 11 million undocumented persons living in the US. We hope this guide provides some basic information on how undocumented families can prepare themselves should one of their loved ones face deportation.
Our team at FormSwift created a map to demonstrate the approximate number of K-12 children of at least one undocumented immigrant in the US as a percentage of the total number of K-12 children in each state. We used 2014 Pew Research data to determine the approximate number of undocumented immigrants by state, and the percentage of children born to undocumented immigrants. We then used Migration Policy Institute data to create a projection of how the population of undocumented immigrants changed between 2014 and 2016, and thus how the number of children changed. We compared the number of children of at least one undocumented parent to the total number of K-12 students in each state, and ranked states by highest percentage.
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