Limited Power of Attorney: What Can I Do For Free?

There is a limited POA that you can do for free. Many banks and financial institutions have forms that grant “limited power of attorney” to the person of your choosing. A limited POA allows you to designate someone to act on your behalf with respect to the accounts you have at that financial institution, but not elsewhere. 

These limited POAs are free, provided by your bank or brokerage company and can be quite useful, depending on the facts of your situation. Normally these limited POAs are used to supplement the durable general power of attorney you prepare with your estate planning lawyer.

Limited POA forms are provided by your bank or brokerage company for free and can be an efficient way to name somebody to act quickly on your behalf or access a safe deposit box in the event of an emergency. 

As the name suggests, limited POAs have, well, their limitations. Limited POAs generally do not allow the person you name to create or change beneficiary designations on your accounts. Also, limited POAs usually do not permit your named agent to engage in effective Medicaid planning, even between spouses and do not grant authority to engage in real estate transactions. 

Read the document in its entirety before signing it and make sure it is consistent with your general durable power of attorney. A limited POA is usually free, helpful, and something you would sign in addition to the general durable financial power of attorney you create your estate planning lawyer. 

If you wish to have our office help you with your estate planning documents, including preparation of your will, financial POA, healthcare POA, and possibly a trust if appropriate for your situation, please call or contact us through this website. 

Disclaimer: We recommend that you receive ongoing legal advice from an elder law attorney before attempting to navigate the Medicaid application process. If you have questions or wish to secure our services, please contact us.

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