Louisiana Power of Attorney Forms
The Louisiana Power of Attorney Forms are legal documents created by a party who willingly chooses to bestow their decision making powers over a certain matter (or many matters) to another individual or entity. While “Power of Attorney” is the term used in other state jurisdictions to encompass the many facets of this legal instrument, it is in fact no longer referred to as such by Louisiana state law. Instead, it has been replaced by the term “Procuration” and “Mandate” in the law. This distinction represents the uniqueness of state laws in governing such arrangements.
What is a Louisiana Power of Attorney?
A Louisiana Power of Attorney provides a lawful means for an individual to entrust their decision making powers to another person or entity. As touched on above, the language used in Louisiana’s laws differs from that of other states. It is therefore important that correct terminology is used when drafting this document to ensure its validity. For instance, while the creator of this contract is still termed the Principal (likewise to other states), the party who acts on behalf of the Principal is referred to as the Mandatary.
Furthermore, in order to reference the act of bestowing another party with the authority to act on the Principal’s behalf, the term Procuration is used (unlike other states, of which refer to this as “Power of Attorney”). Whereas, the term Mandate is used to refer to the act of bestowing another party with the authority to act on the Principal’s behalf and the act of that party accepting this legal responsibility. Anyone wishing to read further about these language intricacies should refer to Advocacy Center or Louisiana‘s helpful guide on the matter.
- Louisiana Power of Attorney Laws – (Title XV, Art. 2985 to Art. 3034, “Representation and Mandate”)
- State Definition of Procuration (Power of Attorney) (Art. 2987) – “a unilateral juridical act by which a person, the principal, confers authority on another person, the representative, to represent the principal in legal relations. The procuration may be addressed to the representative or to a person with whom the representative is authorized to represent the principal in legal relations.”
- State Definition of Mandate (Power of Attorney) (Art. 2989) – “a contract by which a person, the principal, confers authority on another person, the mandatory, to transact one or more affairs for the principal.”
- Signing Requirements
- General / Durable Power of Attorney (Art. 2993) – No specific state-mandated signing instructions. Although it is not required, to ensure legality, it is highly recommended that the contract be signed in view of a licensed Notary Public.
- Advance Directive / Medical Power of Attorney for Behavioral / Mental Health Treatment (RS 28:224) – Required to be signed by at least two (2) witnesses and include an examination by a licensed psychologist or physician that states the Principal has the aptitude to make decisions regarding his or her wellbeing.
- Advance Directive / Medical Power of Attorney for Surgical and Medical Treatment (§1299.58.3) – It is mandatory that the form is signed by the Declarant in the presence of two (2) witnesses.
Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney – Durability here is defined as the condition by which a POA form will continue to be exercised, regardless of whether or not the principal is determined by law to be incapable of making their own sound decisions.
General (Financial) Power of Attorney – A principal who decides that they do not want the powers bestowed on their mandatory by the POA to continue if they become incapacitated should ensure they use a general type of document.
Health Care (Medical) Power of Attorney – A form that is completed with the intention of ensuring the wishes of the Principal in regards to their own health care will be respected even if they become incapacitated.
Download – Adobe PDF
Limited (Special) Power of Attorney – A POA that only lasts until the completion of the specific action that is detailed within, unless another date or circumstance is specified.
Minor Child Power of Attorney – This form addresses the need for parents, on occasion, to involve another party in the process of caring for their children when they are absent from them for any reason.
Motor Vehicle (DMV) Power of Attorney – When filed with the DMV, this form empowers another party who is nominated by a motor vehicle owner to preside over a range of issues concerning the owner’s vehicle.
Download – Adobe PDF
Real Estate (Property) Power of Attorney – Any issues pertaining to the Principal’s real property that they would prefer are handled by another party should be outlined in this document.
Download – Adobe PDF
Revocation of Power of Attorney – A power of attorney of any kind can be effectively revoked upon the valid completion of this document.
State Tax Filing Power of Attorney (Form R-7006) – Allows a taxpayer in the state of Louisiana to elect another individual or entity to represent them before the tax office.
Download – Adobe PDF
When is it Effective?
In Louisiana, the requirements for a POA to be effective differ depending on the type of form.
Not specified: State law does not specify any signing requirements for the following types of power of attorney:
- Durable POA,
- General POA,
- Limited POA,
- Minor Child POA
- Power of Attorney Revocation, and
- Real Estate Power of Attorney
While not mandatory, it is recommended that in order to protect the interests of all parties to the POA that it is signed by the Principal before two (2) witnesses and a Notary Public.
Two (2) witnesses: The law §1299.58.3 states that an Advance Directive / Medical Power of Attorney for Surgical and Medical Treatment (§1299.58.3) only needs to to be signed by the Declarant in the presence of two (2) witnesses
Whereas the law RS 28:224 states that an Advance Directive / Medical Power of Attorney for Behavioral / Mental Health Treatment must be signed by a minimum of two (2) witnessed and additionally must include a written examination by a licensed psychologist or physician. The examination must attest that the Principal is able to make sound decisions about their behavioral health treatment.
Notary Public: The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles requires that a Motor Vehicle POA is notarized by a Notary Public.
Principal and Representative: In order for a Tax POA to be effective, the Louisiana Department of Revenue requires that both the Principal and the Representative sign and date the form.