What Is A Special or Limited Power of Attorney?

What is a special or limited power of attorney? A special or limited power of attorney is a document that allows you to appoint someone else to make decisions on your behalf. This person is referred to as your “agent” or “attorney in fact.” The agent can be appointed to make decisions regarding any area of your life, or just specific areas. For example, you may want to appoint an agent to handle your finances if you become incapacitated or to make medical decisions for you if you’re unable to do so yourself.

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Special Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a concurrence between two people under which one party is allowed to act on behalf of the other. A good example is when you’re out of your country for personal matters and you may not be able to carry on some activities such as a confidential business transaction. Therefore, you may need a power of attorney to authorize someone you trust, like a family member, to make the business transaction in your bank accounts on your behalf. The individual whom you give the mandate or a power of attorney, either through the written or oral form, is known as the principal or grantor. But in the agreement form, the named authorized person is known as the agent or attorney.

There are several types of power of attorney you can use depending on the situation’s specialty. These include special or limited, springing durable, durable, and general power of attorney. But for now, you’re going to learn about special or limited POA.

What Is a Special or Limited Power of Attorney?

As the name suggests, “special” means that such authorized individuals will carry specific attorney special power limited to specific circumstances. Therefore, a special power of attorney is a legal document giving an individual the authority to act on the other person’s behalf, but only under special considerations.

In other words, a special power of attorney authorizes or gives control to one individual in the agreement to have the ability to act on some legal decision on behalf of the other person, for example, making financial decisions.

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How to get a durable power of attorney

Getting a special power of attorney may require more legal documents and attorney forms. Specifically, you’re looking for someone to assign the duty as a third party to represent you in some legal transaction or activities. If the agent knows these documents’ format, legality, and requirements, they can create and sign the form along with the principal’s signature in the presence of a notary public.


For you to assign the third party with power of attorney, you need what is called a sales and purchase agreement (SPA) document. This form indicates a binding legal contract existing between two individuals. It therefore obligates the occurrence of a transaction between a seller and buyer. Although SPA documents are mostly used when dealing with real estate transactions, they’re also effective for other business activities.


However, if you need SPA documents, you need to begin learning the format and the terms used in the special power of attorney. But as you read them, the most used terms are principal and agent. These terms typically represent the person giving the power (principal) and the individual receiving responsibilities (agent).


To get special or limited power of attorney, you must access templates online and fill in the required information. Follow these rules when dealing with the SPA documents:

1.Have the power of attorney form ready

You will find different formats for special power of attorney when you try to search via the internet for a free form. Therefore, you must choose a style that best suits your desires. Figure out what kind of powers the principal wants to give the agent while preparing. More importantly, ensure the details are correct as they are legal documents.

Here are some of the pieces of information required by most states per state law for a special power attorney:

  • Principal’s legal name and address
  • The agent’s Identification Document and other related details
  • Purpose for obtaining the SPA document
  • The location and date where one will sign that form
  • Name, number of identification, and expiration date of the ID of the principal

Make sure to print copies for the principal, notary public, and representative once these forms are filled out.

2.Notarizing the Legal Document

For the documents to become legal and official, you need to make sure you have the SPA form. After they have been notarized by a notary public in front of witnesses, ensure you formally record them as most states offices require.

What Special or Limited Power of Attorney Can Not be Used For on The Principal's Behalf

The special or limited power of attorney mandates the agent to perform specific legal duties. While the obligation between the principal and agent remains valid and unchanged, there are particular limitations to the existing special power of attorney that protects the agreement policies. Of course, the agent’s authority is expected to abide by the principal’s best interests.

Here are what a special power of attorney can not be used for:

  • Transferring responsibility to a new agent.
  • After the principal’s death, a special POA can’t make any legal decision; however, the roles are left to the Estate’s Executor.
  • Transferring assets or distributing inheritances after the death of the principal.
  • Invalidating or changing the principal’s will or any of the documents regarding Estate Planning.
  • Changing terms of the nominating documents to avoid the help of negligence or fraud.
  • Acting outside the best interests of the principal.
  • Making decisions when a document has not come into effect.
  • Nominating officially until the principal is of sound mind and body
  • Using the money or assets of the principal as their own.
  • Compensating over what is highlighted in the power of attorney agreement.

Carrying out any act listed above will result in revocation of power of attorney.

What a Limited Power of Attorney Can Do

Most people think that a power of attorney transfers decision-making power to another person permanently. Although most power of attorney is permanent, a limited or special power of attorney is meant to be temporary with an expiration date. Generally, a limited power of attorney is for a particular act or specific person for a short or limited time with a specified future date when it will end. A special or limited power of attorney often acts on a principal’s behalf during specific transactions or dealings. These transactions can range from healthcare, financial, business, or any other relevant instance based on the granted authority.

An agent can do the following:

  • Handle business or financial dealings when principal isn’t available
  • Sign contracts and deals on your behalf
  • Handle finances in case you become incapacitated
  • Carry out investment management

Reasons For Setting a Limited Power of Attorney

For various reasons, it’s important to set up a limited power of attorney. This power of attorney can be a vital tool for preparing for the unpredictable, like being incapacitated suddenly. Moreover, a limited power of attorney can provide good protection when the principal is unavailable.


In most cases, the power of a limited POA emanates from having a fully trustworthy person who can stand in your position as an agent to handle both simple and complex tasks. It’s common to have an investment advisor and a limited power attorney so they can have the legal authority to manage and make investment decisions without hesitation.

A major benefit of a limited power of attorney comes from the set time restriction. For instance, if you’re traveling out of the country for a month, you can establish a limited power of attorney for the timeframe you will be gone.

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How To Set Up a Limited Power of Attorney

It’s easy to set up a limited power of attorney as you can do it in a few simple steps. All you need to do is specify the power you want to grant to your agent, and decide on the expiration date of the authorities. Here, you can choose to be as specific as you wish. Or be general, depending on your needs and goals.

Moreover, if you want the power to be legally binding, it’s vital to sign and date the limited power of attorney and to have witnesses and a notary public present. You need to check your state law to confirm if it’s mandatory to have a notary public and witnesses present or not.

If you anticipate that your loved one needs the protection and support that limited power of attorney can offer, you can set up one in a few steps:

1. First, check with your state laws on what’s needed to create one

2.Determine the kind of POA you need based on your circumstances

3. Ascertain that the power of attorney form you’re using is the right one

4.Indulge in an honest and open discussion with the person that requires the power of attorney

5. Determine the capabilities that you need to be transferred

6. Have the power of attorney signed and notarized by a notary public

7. Distribute a legal copy of a power of attorney to all of the involved parties

Limited or special power of attorney is a better way to extend protection in estate planning. It ensures that you cover all your bases in cases of emergencies. Moreover, the limited power of attorney helps those in need plan for the times they anticipate getting help navigating through life. A will and trust make setting a limited power of attorney easy alongside state-specific forms.

What is The Timeframe of a Limited Power of Attorney?

Ultimately, a limited POA states a starting and ending time in which the limited power of attorney document remains valid. For instance, if you’re traveling out of the country for a month, the starting date is the date you leave the country, and the end date is the return date. This means that the valid time frame for the document will be one month.

However, some factors can result in revocation of the document. For instance, the principal’s death can revoke the validity of the limited POA. Another factor that can void validity is when the agent is the principle’s spouse, and they undergo a divorce, and the principal remarries.

How a Special or Limited Power of Attorney Works

Power of attorney is a collection of general power allowing a third party under contractual capacity to execute financial or legal decisions for the principal. It’s a kind of agreement that acts as proof of an agent’s appointment and sets out the extent and nature of the granted authority. For instance, a principal may appoint an agent to execute a deal for the sale of a property and also convey the title to the third party.

A special or limited power of attorney is granted when the principal cannot independently execute decisions for various reasons. The principal can decide to form more than one special power attorney, delegating to multiple agents in every instrument. In this case, the responsibilities and roles of the agents are limited to particular incidents. Apart from contractual duties, the agent can perform various obligations based on the agreement’s extent.

The Agent's Duties on the Principal's Behalf

The agent’s contractual duties to the principal are determined by the express and implied provisions of any contract between the parties. Because an agent can also be liable for other responsibilities, the principal often selects an agent based on integrity, skills, and ability. Apart from being empowered and authorized to get to binding contracts with other third parties on behalf of the principal, the agent can possess properties and money. Through this the agent can affect the principal via negligence or dishonesty.

An agent performs a fiduciary duty that they need to complete, inform, practice good conduct, loyalty, diligence, and obedience. If an agent breaches the obligations or goes beyond the given authority, this implies that the agent is liable for losses. However, if the agent acts within the granted authority, it means they’re not accountable for any mistake or harm by a third party. Moreover, the principal can also give powers to the agent to appoint a subagent to help in the duties of the agreement.

People That Need a Limited Power of Attorney

Any person that is above 18 and is unable to manage affairs independently out of an anticipated mental or physical disability or an absence that prevents them from making decisions, can use the limited power of attorney.

Components of a Limited Power of Attorney

  • Timeframe of term, the limited powers need to be delegated.
  • Frequency or number of actions that might be required from the power of attorney.
  • Specific details of the particular authority describe liberties, activities, and authority.
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A special or limited power of attorney is a legal document that outlines the scope of authority granted to an agent, commonly known as an attorney from the principal. Under this power, the principal gives an agent powers to make specific financial or legal decisions. This document is used as proof of the principal authority to the third party that the principal might be dealing with. The principal often selects the agent depending on the reputation, skills, and capabilities and must be clear on the limited power of attorney contract since the agent is limited to act to the provision of the agreement. While the agent can perform any duty, the agreement should dictate these. 

If you need a limited power of attorney, click here to find the related documents and have a notary public sent directly to you.



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