power of attorney

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Related to power of attorney: Enduring Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney

A written document in which one person (the principal) appoints another person to act as an agent on his or her behalf, thus conferring authority on the agent to perform certain acts or functions on behalf of the principal. Powers of attorney are routinely granted to allow the agent to take care of a variety of transactions for the principal, such as executing a stock power, handling a tax audit, or maintaining a safe-deposit box. Powers of attorney can be written to be either general (full) or limited to special circumstances. A power of attorney generally is terminated when the principal dies or becomes incompetent, but the principal can revoke the power of attorney at any time.

A special type of power of attorney that is used frequently is the "durable" power of attorney. A durable power of attorney differs from a traditional power of attorney in that it continues the agency relationship beyond the incapacity of the principal. The two types of durable power of attorney are immediate and "springing." The first type takes effect as soon as the durable power of attorney is executed. The second is intended to "spring" into effect when a specific event occurs, such as the disability of the principal. Most often, durable powers of attorney are created to deal with decisions involving either property management or health care.

Durable powers of attorney have become popular because they enable the principal to have her or his affairs handled easily and inexpensively after she or he has become incapacitated. Before the durable power of attorney was created, the only way to handle the affairs of an incapacitated person was to appoint a guardian, a process that frequently involves complex and costly court proceedings, as well as the often humiliating determination that the principal is wholly incapable and in need of protection.

With a durable power of attorney, on the other hand, a principal can appoint someone to handle her or his affairs after she or he becomes incompetent, and the document can be crafted to confer either general power or power in certain limited circumstances. Because no judicial proceedings are necessary, the principal saves time and money and avoids the stigma of being declared incompetent.

The concept of the durable power of attorney was created in 1969 when the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws promulgated the Uniform Probate Code (U.P.C. § 5–501). Ten years later, the provisions of the code dealing with the durable power of attorney were modified and published as the Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act (UDPA). All fifty states recognize some version of the durable power of attorney, having adopted either the UDPA or the Uniform Probate Code, or some variation of them. Versions of the durable power of attorney vary from state to state. Certain powers cannot be delegated, including the powers to make, amend, or revoke a will, change insurance beneficiaries, contract a marriage, and vote.

Further readings

Insel, Michael S. 1995. "Durable Power Can Alleviate Effects of Client's Incapacity." Estate Planning 22 (February).

Rains, Ramona C. 1996. "Planning Tools Available to the Elderly Client." American Journal of Trial Advocacy 19 (spring).


Living Will.

power of attorney

n. a written document signed by a person giving another person the power to act in conducting the signer's business, including signing papers, checks, title documents, contracts, handling bank accounts and other activities in the name of the person granting the power. The person receiving the power of attorney (which means agent) is "attorney in fact" for the person giving the power, and usually signs documents as "Melinda Hubbard, attorney in fact for Guilda Giver." There are two types of powers of attorney: a) general power of attorney which covers all activities, and b) special power of attorney which grants powers limited to specific matters, such as selling a particular piece of real estate, handling some bank accounts, or executing a limited partnership agreement. A power of attorney may expire on a date stated in the document or upon written cancellation. Usually the signer acknowledges before a notary public that he/she executed the power, so that it is recordable if necessary, as in a real estate transaction.

power of attorney

an authority given by one person to another to act in his absence.

POWER OF ATTORNEY. Vide Letter of attorney, and 1 Mood. Or. Cas. 57, 58.

References in periodicals archive ?
A power of attorney will most certainly be required when preparing and filing tax returns in another's name or when asking questions of a bank regarding another's accounts.
A durable power of attorney can be drafted so that it goes into effect as soon as it is signed.
The ombudsman suggests that consumers do: Book an appointment to speak to a member of staff, explain they need to register a power of attorney and ask what documents they need to bring in.
Having a lasting power of attorney means your choices count, no matter what happens in the future.
Such cases are particularly sensitive because often someone will have given a friend or a relative power of attorney over their finances because they are ill or there is concern about their mental capacity to make their own decisions.
Any Power of Attorney that your partner tried to draw up would have to have gone through the courts, defeating the purpose of the exercise since it would have taken months.
The court first found that the power of attorney was effective, despite the plaintiffs' failure to obtain certifications from two doctors documenting that the plaintiffs' mother was mentally impaired, which was required by the plain terms of the power of attorney document.
The project is aimed for building a national bank for electronic archiving that allows the archiving of all power of attorney documents by the notaries in Syria before automating, issuing and fully achieving them as a second stage.
Beginning as a common law principle of agency, the power of attorney was first codified in New York in 1948 with the advent of the statutory short form power of attorney.
For instance, it is not possible to grant power of attorney to a person to assist you in particular matters such as appearing before a court unless this person is a licensed attorney at law registered with any bar association in Turkey.
These Bills, especially the Powers of Attorney Amendment Bill, will allow for greater control and protection for older Tasmanians when they appoint a Power of Attorney, which empowers, not disempowers them and ensures a person granted Power of Attorney over an elderly person's financial affairs cannot gain personal wealth at the expense of, without the consent or knowledge of, the older person.
Owing to withdrawal of his power of attorney by Rizwan Abbas counsel for former president, Ilyas Siddiqui has been appointed new counsel and latter has filed his power of attorney in the court.