Louisiana Power Of Attorney Form Template – Forbes Advisor


Published: Dec 22, 2023, 8:00am

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A power of attorney (POA) is an important legal tool in which you allow someone else to make crucial decisions on your behalf. This free Louisiana power of attorney form template is customizable and allows someone else (typically called an “attorney-in-fact” or “agent”) to make financial decisions for you. Download the form below. Note that in Louisiana, a power of attorney is also called a mandate.

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document where one person, referred to as the principal, gives another person, known as the “attorney-in-fact,” authority to make decisions for them. The attorney-in-fact doesn’t need to be an actual attorney, but it should be someone the principal trusts to make sound choices on their behalf.

Powers of attorney can be “durable,” which means they are still in effect if the principal becomes incapacitated or unable to make decisions. Durable powers of attorney typically end with the principal’s death. A general power of attorney that is not durable is no longer effective if the principal becomes incapacitated.

In most states, a power of attorney must be notarized to be effective.

Who Should Use a Power of Attorney Form?

An attorney specializing in estate planning would say everyone should use a power of attorney. This is because a person can become incapacitated with no warning and after that, you lose the ability to appoint an agent to act on your behalf.

However, anyone who wants to ensure that a specific person has the power to act on their behalf should consider a power of attorney. While it’s often associated with an inability to make decisions for yourself—whether through age or injury—a POA is a viable tool in any situation where you need someone to act for you.

How to Create a Power of Attorney in Louisiana

There are a few requirements needed to draft a Louisiana power of attorney. If you have any doubts, be sure to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney. The requirements typically are that:

  • The principal can make decisions for themselves
  • There is an actual written document
  • The document includes:
    • The name of the attorney-in-fact
    • The duties the principal gives the agent
    • The principal’s signature, properly notarized with two witnesses
    • The date of execution

Store the original safely and regularly recheck your power of attorney as circumstances change. Consider also sending signed copies of the power of attorney documents to your attorney-in-fact, financial institution and important family members.

Types of Powers of Attorney

Principals can choose from several types of powers of attorney depending on their needs with regard to duration and scope.

Powers of Attorney Based on Capacity

Principals can select the correct type of power of attorney for them depending on whether they want it to take effect immediately, wait until they become incapacitated, and if they want it to end upon their incapacitation or death.

  • General or Non-Durable Power of Attorney. A general power of attorney gives the attorney-in-fact permission to act for the principal on a broad range of personal affairs and financial transactions. It automatically ends when the principal either becomes incapacitated or dies.
  • Durable Power of Attorney. A durable power of attorney remains in effect if the principal becomes incapacitated. In Louisiana, durability is presumed, meaning a power of attorney will automatically remain effective if the principal becomes disabled or incapacitated.
  • Springing Power of Attorney. Unlike general and durable powers of attorney, a springing power of attorney becomes effective only if the principal becomes disabled or incapacitated. It’s also referred to as a “standby power of attorney.”

Limited Powers of Attorney Based on Scope

Limited powers of attorney, as the name suggests, give attorneys-in-fact responsibility over specific topic(s) the principal designates but do not include sweeping rights to make decisions. Common examples include:

  • Financial Power of Attorney. With a financial power of attorney, a principal enables an attorney-in-fact to make financial decisions for them, including choices around investments, banking, real estate, loans, insurance and bill-paying.
  • Medical Power of Attorney or Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare. A healthcare power of attorney allows an attorney-in-fact to make healthcare decisions for the principal, according to their wishes and professional medical advice, when the principal cannot do so for themselves. You may wish to nominate an alternate attorney-in-fact in case your primary one is unavailable in an emergency.

Who Can Be an Attorney-in-Fact?

Short answer: Anyone can serve as an attorney-in-fact. Also called an agent, this person should be someone you trust to make critical decisions, such as an adult child, close friend or family member. If the principal has the capacity, they choose their own agent. If they are incapacitated, the court may appoint one on their behalf.

Principals may also select alternate attorneys-in-fact in the event the primary is unavailable. However, they should not choose co-agents, which can lead to disagreements that cause delays in decision-making.

What Are the Signing Requirements for a Power of Attorney Form in Louisiana?

Who must sign a power of attorney and other requirements vary by state. In Louisiana, a power of attorney form must have two witnesses and be notarized. Be sure to confirm current laws in your jurisdiction.

Do You Need a Lawyer to Get a Power of Attorney in Louisiana?

You can use a template like the one provided above to create a perfectly legal power of attorney in Louisiana. You could even write one without a template, as long as it meets all the legal requirements.

Just because you don’t have to have a lawyer draw up your POA, though, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. A power of attorney can give sweeping powers to the attorney-in-fact, so it’s a good idea to have a qualified lawyer review the document before signing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Louisiana Power of Attorney Forms

Do you need a lawyer to get a power of attorney?

While it’s usually a good idea to consult with a lawyer before you become bound by a POA, you don’t need an attorney to get one. As long as the document complies with all the requirements of Louisiana, a lawyer isn’t necessary to create a binding power of attorney.

How do you get power of attorney if someone is incapacitated?

Power of attorney can only be granted by a principal of sound mind, so if someone becomes incapacitated, they can no longer appoint someone to be their agent. You can, however, petition the court to make you the person’s conservator or guardian. Once this appointment is made, you can act on the person’s behalf yourself or grant power of attorney to an agent to act for them.

How do you take power of attorney away from someone?

Anyone besides the principal or their guardian can only take away power of attorney by petitioning the court to intervene. As the principal—or the principal’s legally-appointed guardian or conservator—you can revoke a POA at any time, as long as you are of sound mind. Typically, you need to revoke the agent’s ability to act for you in writing and the revocation must clearly state the intention to revoke the power of attorney. Although not required, it is a good idea to have two witnesses and a notary subscribe to the written revocation.

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Adam Ramirez has been writing and editing about the law and legal issues for more than 20 years. After earning a law degree from the University of Arizona, he clerked for two years for a U.S. District Court judge. He researched and wrote legal precedent in published opinions on behalf of the Court. He previously was an editor, columnist and journalist at the Miami Herald, The Dallas Morning News, The Oregonian, Golf Digest, FindLaw.com and other media outlets.

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