If you are in the Baton Rouge area and need help with a Power of Attorney (POA), please give me a call at 225-907-5280. I am available 24/7, I can travel to you, and I believe that I know more about POA’s than just about anyone in Louisiana.
Speaking of Louisiana, in our state we call a POA a “mandate”, but since almost no one refers to it as a mandate, let’s just keep it simple by calling it a POA.
Now then, what is a POA, what kinds exist, how do we create one, and what can my notary services do to help you? Great questions!
A power of attorney is really a contract. In this special contract, we usually have two players: the principal and the agent. The principal is the one that is placing authority in another. The agent is the one accepting responsibility.
With a POA the principal is granting the agent the ability to act in the principal’s place. The agent is accepting this ability, and agrees to act in the place of the principal.
Let’s create a simple example. Alec wants Quinn to act in his place. In this example, Alec is the principal and Quinn is the agent. Got it? Great! Now let’s explain things a little better.
Using our example, with a POA Alec is going to delegate the authority for Quinn to act in his place. Let’s pretend that Alec wants to buy a home in Denham Springs for $100 (great deal!), but Alec is going to be out of town when the sale is going to occur. So what can Alec do?
Alec can create a power of attorney whereby he grants Quinn the ability to act in his place at the sale of the home. This will allow Quinn to sign the Cash Sale or Warranty Deed on behalf of Alec, just as if Alec was signing it himself.
Let’s try another example to illustrate. Susan is not doing well. Susan trusts her daughter Stacey. Susan wants Stacey to make the medical decisions for her, if she is not able to make them. What can Susan do? She can create a POA! Susan will act as the principal whereby she appoints Stacey to act as her agent on medical decisions, if Susan is unable to make them herself.
In this example, if Susan were to fall into a coma, the doctors can go to Stacey to make any medical decisions. They can do this because Susan and Stacey have properly executed a POA beforehand whereby Susan appointed Stacey to represent her in this exact scenario.
Now that we hopefully understand what a POA is, let’s talk about the different types. Some of the most common Louisiana power of attorneys are:
- Real Estate/Mortgage: These are used all of the time to purchase/sell/mortgage property. It is very common when a buyer or seller will not be available on the date of the signing. As a Baton Rouge notary signing agent, I deal with this a lot.
- General: When most people all me about creating a POA, this is what they are usually looking for. It is a general POA can pretty much cover any possible scenario that you can think of. The one that I have perfected is a 9 page document that covers business, financials, medical matters, and everything in between. We usually make them “durable” so that they will continue to apply, even if the principal loses capacity at a later point.
- Medical: This one is used so that your agent can make medical decisions when you are not able to. This comes into play a lot when the principal undergoes surgery. It can also make it useful if you need someone to get medical records for you, or to discuss your case with your doctors.
- Financial: This covers all financial matters. This is usually used when you need an agent to handle your banking or business affairs.
- Vehicle: Let’s say that you need someone to act in your place to transfer a title so that you can sell your vehicle when you are not in town. This is the POA that you are looking for.
I could go on and on about the hundreds of possible types of POA’s there are, but this short list covers the majority of cases. Generally put, a POA can be created for any situation where you (the principal) needs someone (an agent) to act in your place.
Now let’s discuss how to create a power of attorney. A POA is a legal document. As with just about all legal documents, it is extremely important that you create it correctly. I’m not a big fan of making things overly complicated, but in this instance there is just no way that you should create a POA yourself.
While the internet is often very useful, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble if you rely on online power of attorney forms. For one thing, they virtually never comply with our Louisiana laws. For another, almost all of them are just flat out bad.
If you need to create a POA, just call a competent attorney of notary public. It will cost you a few dollars, but it’s really worth it. If you decide to call me, I will create your POA, watch you sign it, and notarize it for you.
Please give me (your notary public in Baton Rouge) a call at 225-907-5280 if you have any questions.