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A limited power of attorney form sets out details of the scope of authority granted to a named and trusted 'attorney' by a 'principal' who wishes to forward plan for contingencies in their personal or professional life.

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What is a Limited Power of Attorney?

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:

  • The term or length the limited powers are delegated, i.e. permanent or temporary period of time listed in the document.
  • The number and frequency of actions that might be required.
  • Specific details of the limited authority.

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:

  • Trading monies in a client’s or partner’s account;
  • Disbursement of funds in an investment account;
  • Fee-payments;
  • Instructions to brokers;
  • Other specified obligations.

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.

  • Schedules and Time-frames: Other limitations may refer to when the agent is permitted to act on behalf of the principal, such as during holidays, business trips, sickness, or for a particular frequency.
  • Documentation: This power of attorney document must be signed, dated, and witnessed often in front of a notary public. It must detail the scope of the agent's authority and limitations. Any relevant paperwork, accounts, negotiations, or other relevant information which the agent needs should be detailed.
  • Power to Revoke: This is often referred to as a revocation clause. Most limited powers of attorney contain a clause explaining how it may be revoked. The principal signs and dates the documentation; this added contingency will void the document and end the agent's authority to act for the principal.

Both the agent and the principal should keep a copy of the signed and notarized legal document for their records.

What Can You Use This POA For?

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.

Who Needs a Limited 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the biggest difference between a durable or lasting power of attorney and limited power of attorney?
    • A limited power of attorney limits the agent's scope to act on behalf of a principal to particular listed purposes for when the principal isn’t available or is unable to do so.
  2. What issues can a limited power of attorney be used for? Should I establish separate powers of attorney?
    • Limited power of attorney forms are used for limited purposes for a limited time period. Examples include acting on behalf of a principle for healthcare, personal care and custody of children, real estate matters, and buying, selling, or disposal of assets.

K-12 Children of Undocumented Immigrants in the US

June 14, 2018


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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Limited Power of Attorney

A Limited Power of Attorney form sets out details of the scope of authority granted to a named and trusted 'attorney' by a 'principal' who wishes to forward plan for contingencies in their personal or professional life. It covers the term of delegated authority, amount of actions that might be required, regularity, and limitations to powers.

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