Make this page just about term as in lifespan
Key terms of a Power of Attorney, include the terms governing:
These terms are fundamental to any Power of Attorney.
Unless terms provide otherwise, it is generally assumed that:-
There is a distinction between:-
In simpler Powers of Attorney, nothing is made of these concepts and the Power of Atrorney works to permit an agent to be appointed throughout the lifespan of the Power of Attorney and the Power of Attorney simply begins when it is signed and ends when it is revoked.
The following examples illustrate the notion of a ‘term’ in this context in different ways.
Imagine a Power of Attorney under which an agent is authorized to perform a certain task at all times that the Power of Attorney is on foot, that is from the time that the Power of Attorney is signed by the principal (following the agent accepting appointment) to when the Power of Attorney terminates.
This is the simplest possible arrangement, because it does not involve notions like ‘term of appointment’ or ‘term of authority’ because at all times during the ‘lifespan’ of the Power of Attorney, the agent is authorized to perform the relevant tasks.
Consider a Power of Attorney under which three (3) agents are appointed, each with different expertise, the purpose of their appointment being to achieve a particular objective, such as an architect, builder and interior designer who are appointed as agents to create a house.
Notwithstanding that all three (3) agents have the same term of appointment, their respective terms of authority are different, because the architect would perform tasks before the builder and in turn, the interior designer would perform tasks after the builder.
Consider a Powers of Attorney under which:-
In this example, the term of the Power of Attorney (i.e. its lifespan) is very different from the term of each agent’s appointment. Notably, the third agent’s appointment commences after the appointment of the first two agents.
Taking the three (3) examples above, consider that:-
Where a Power of Attorney provides for an agent to be appointed from a future point in time, perhaps for a fixed period, care should be taken to address the question of when an agent may accept appointment.
This issue is also pertinent here a Power of Attorney provides for a Power of Attorney to become effective at a future point in time.
Care should be taken to avoid any doubt as to when an agent may accept appointment and the effectiveness of any earlier acceptance of appointment, that is, prior to the Power of Attorney becoming effective.
Potentially, the latter is more problematic.
It is invariably best for the principal to manage these kinds of issues in their own, preferred terms.
|New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania
|Legislation provides that a Power of Attorney is assumed to be durable unless the Power of Attorney provides otherwise (see NY §5-1501A; IL §2-5; PA §5601.1).
|California, Texas and Florida
|Legislation requires certain words to be included in a Power of Attorney to be effective if the principal loses capacity (see CA §4018; TX §751.0021; FL §709.2104).
For example, in Florida:-