Special power of attorney

Tiziana Paris
Tiziana Paris, Attorney at Law

A Special Power of Attorney is a written document wherein one person (the "Principal") appoints and confers authority to another (your Attorney at Law) to perform acts on behalf of the principal for one or more specific transactions. It is used as evidence of authority of the Attorney at Law to third persons with whom the Attorney at Law may be dealing with. 

Types of Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney can be general or special.

A General Power of Attorney can only be used to transact all the business of the principal. However, said transactions is limited to acts of administration. This type of Power of Attorney if given to your Attorney at Law doesn't have to be notarized. 

A Special Power of Attorney is used when your Attorney at Law is authorized to act only in one or more specific transactions or to do one or more specific acts or to act only during a specific occasion. 

A Special Power of Attorney is necessary for the following acts:

  • To make payments that are not usually considered acts of administration;
  • To end an existing obligation by the creation of a new one by substituting the object of the obligation or the parties to the obligation;
  • To enter into a compromise to avoid a litigation or to end one that has already started;
  • To waive any obligations gratuitously (or freely);
  • To enter into a contract where the ownership of a real property (e.g. land) is changed either gratuitously or with a consideration;
  • To make gifts except customary ones for charity or those made to employees in the business managed by the Agent;
  • To loan or borrow money unless the borrowing of money is urgent and indispensable for the preservation of the things which are under administration;
  • To lease any real property to another person for more than one year;
  • To bind the principal to render some service without compensation;
  • To bind the principal in a contract of partnership;
  • To bind the principal as a guarantor or surety;
  • To create or convey real rights, such as mortgage, usufruct, easement, etc., over immovable property;
  • To accept or repudiate an inheritance;
  • To ratify or recognize obligations that were entered into before the agency;
  • Any act of strict dominion such as selling or purchasing personal property.

Extinguishment of Agency

The agency ends:

  • by revocation of the Principal;
  • by withdrawal of the Agent - Attorney at Law;
  • by the death, civil interdiction, insanity or insolvency of the principal or of the Agent - Attorney at Law;
  • by the dissolution of the firm or corporation which entrusted or accepted the agency;
  • by the accomplishment of the object or purpose of the agency;
  • by the expiration of the period for which the agency was constituted.

A Special Power of Attorney even if given to your Attorney at Law has to be notarized to be valid.