Attorney-In-Fact Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Attorney-In-Fact, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Attorney-In-Fact?
(n) Attorney -In-Fact is the person, duly authorized by a documented power of Attorney, authorized to act on behalf of the person issuing such power of attorney on the matters stated in that document within the limits contained therein. A general power of attorney authorize a person to conduct all business as one’s substitute.
History and Meaning of Attorney-In-Fact
An Attorney-In-Fact is a legal term used to describe a person who is given the authority to perform certain acts on behalf of another person or entity. This authority is granted through a document called a power of attorney, which must be properly executed to be valid. The power of attorney can be limited to certain specific acts or can be general in nature, allowing the Attorney-In-Fact to act on behalf of the principal for any legal purpose.
The history of the power of attorney can be traced back to ancient Roman law, where it was used to allow individuals to represent others in legal matters. Over time, this legal concept was adopted in other countries, including England and the United States, and it continues to be an important part of modern legal practice.
Examples of Attorney-In-Fact
- A person grants their friend a limited power of attorney to sell their car while they are out of town.
- A business owner appoints their spouse as Attorney-In-Fact to sign important legal documents in their absence.
- A person grants their financial advisor a general power of attorney to manage their finances and make financial decisions on their behalf.
- An elderly person appoints their child as Attorney-In-Fact to handle their medical decisions if they become incapacitated.
- A real estate investor gives their attorney a limited power of attorney to sign closing documents on their behalf.
Legal Terms Similar to Attorney-In-Fact
- Power of attorney: A legal document that gives a person (the Attorney-In-Fact) the authority to act on behalf of another person (the principal).
- Agent: A person or entity authorized to act on behalf of another person or entity.
- Proxy: A person appointed to act for another, especially in voting.
- Trustee: A person or entity that holds property for the benefit of another person or entity.