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A special power of attorney is a legal document written by the so-called ‘Principal’ that details the specified and specific wishes and directions for an ‘Agent’, ‘Attorney-in-fact’ or ‘Attorney’ to carry out.

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Special Power of Attorney Information

Alternate Names:

  • Limited Power of Attorney

What is Special Power of Attorney?

A Special Power of Attorney is a legal document written by the so-called ‘Principal’ that details the specified and specific wishes and directions for an ‘Agent’, ‘Attorney-in-fact’ or ‘Attorney’ to carry out.

This document also covers:

  • The term or length of the delegated power(s), i.e. fixed or periodic
  • The amount and frequency of specified activities needing to be carried out
  • Financial, business or property details
  • Who is responsible for specified activities and to what extent they have authority to act on the Principal’s behalf
  • Other details

Both the Principal, or their legal agent and the Attorney should keep a copy of the signed document for their records.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the biggest difference between durable or lasting power of attorney and special power of attorney?

    • A special or limited power of attorney limits the attorney’s scope to act on behalf of a principal to particular specified purposes for when the principal isn’t available or is unable to do so.

  2. What issues can a special power of attorney apply to? Should I establish separate powers of attorney?

    • Special power of attorney can apply for a limited time period or a specific purpose. Examples of special powers to act on behalf of a principle include areas such as: health care, care and custody of children, real estate matters and buying, selling or disposal of assets.

  3. Am I required to file a Power of Attorney in a government office?

    • This is not generally necessary. However, where the sale and purchase of real estate is concerned, this must be recorded in the county real estate records.

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Special Power of Attorney

A Special Power of Attorney document details the specific wishes and directions for an ‘Agent’, ‘Attorney-in-fact’ or ‘Attorney’ to take decisions on behalf of the 'Principal'. It covers: • The term or length of the delegated power(s), i.e. fixed or periodic • The amount and frequency of specified activities needing to be carried out • Financial, business or property details • Who is responsible for specified activities and to what extent they have authority to act on the Principal’s behalf • Other details

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