Also known as a Mandate or Procuration in Louisiana, properly drafted, allows you to designate another person of your choice to make financial and health care decisions, as well as manage your affairs in case you become incapacitated. The person you choose is then referred to as an agent or attorney-in-fact.

Practically speaking, a power of attorney is kept on a shelf until it is needed. But when you need one, you REALLY need one, thus it’s important for your Power of Attorney to be efficient and trustworthy.

A Power of Attorney is one of the most important legal documents that every person should have in place when the time is right. Curious to know more? Continue reading below for a quick overview of everything you need to know about a POA.

What is a Power of Attorney (POA)?

Also known as a Mandate or Procuration in Louisiana, a properly drafted POA allows you to designate another person of your choice to make financial and health care decisions, as well as manage your affairs in case you become incapacitated. The person you choose is then referred to as an agent or attorney-in-fact.

If you, unfortunately, become incapacitated before confirming a legit power of attorney, a court proceeding also known as an Interdiction in Louisiana will be mandatory in order to declare you legally incompetent. During this time, the court will assign a curator to be in charge of your affairs. 

What Happens If You Don’t Have a Power of Attorney

Like mentioned above, a Power of Attorney is essentially your permission to allow someone you know and trust to make your medical and financial decisions when you can’t. And without this type of document, you and your family can ultimately end up in an interdiction (or guardianship or conservatorship in some states)

In a situation like this, it’s important to remember that it’s usually costly, and contentious, and the curator is chosen by a judge who deems someone able to make decisions for you under ongoing supervision of the court. 

The 4 Main Types of Power of Attorney

Simply put, a Power of Attorney is essentially a delegation of authority to another person. Think of it this way—you have various rights and powers as a person, and each one of your rights and powers can be individually delegated to a specific POA. Below you will find the 4 main types of Power of Attorney.

1. Financial Power of Attorney

Someone that you know and trust to make financial decisions for you can be appointed to do so by signing a legal document. Financial decisions in a situation like this can include

  • The power to access accounts
  • Pay expenses
  • Buy, sell, exchange
  • Enter into legally binding contracts
  • Create trusts
  • Make donations

2. Healthcare Power of Attorney

Also known as a Medical Power of Attorney, this type of document grants access to someone you know and trust to make medical decisions for you. Some medical decisions may include

  • The power to consent to medical procedures
  • Access protected health information
  • Make arrangements for your care

3. General Power of Attorney

This legal document permits broad, non-specific powers to your Agent, which can include both healthcare and financial decisions. However, since so much specificity is required for specific powers, a General Powers of Attorney is not recommended.

4. Limited or Specific Power of Attorney

Whenever you need to grant narrow, specific powers to your Agent, this is the type of legal document you should consider. Certain powers in a case like this can be the power to sell a single parcel of land for a certain amount, or for a set duration of time.

Limited Powers of Attorney can indeed be helpful, especially for big groups who want to grant permission to one person to transact business on their behalf.