Duration of Power of Attorney

An ordinary Power of Attorney, whether general or limited, will automatically come to an end on the incapacity, bankruptcy or death of the principal or the agent. In addition, many limited Power of Attorney are limited in duration and automatically come to an end on a specific date or on the occurrence of a specific event such as the completion of the sale or purchase of a property or the draw down of a loan.


Unlike an ordinary Power of Attorney, a durable Power of Attorney does not automatically come to an end when the principal becomes incapacitated, but it does end automatically when the principal dies.


Furthermore, the principal may also revoke a Power of Attorney at any time so long as he is mentally competent to do so. He will normally do this by notifying the agent in writing that the Power of Attorney has been revoked, and destroying the original.


Where the principal has been registered the Power of Attorney with a County Clerk or Land Titles Registry, he should notify the appropriate authority of its revocation at the earliest opportunity in order to prevent any subsequent dealings by the agent with the principal’s property. The same applies equally to banks, brokers and other financial institutions that might have a copy of the Power of Attorney on their records. While some financial institutions tend not to accept or act on powers of attorney which are more than three to six months old, the issue should not be left to chance and the financial institutions should be notified in writing of the revocation at the earliest possible time to reduce the risk of fraud or theft by a rogue agent.



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