Dictionary of Law

power of attorney :: legal definition

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 (the 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 power 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.

Related Law Terms

abstract of judgment :: n. a written summary of a judgment which states ho ... aying the debt. See also: levy lien
account stated :: n. a statement between a creditor or the person to ... ending on the state. See also: debt
acknowledgment :: n. the section at the end of a document where a no ... me leases and various other papers.
adjuster :: n. an employee (usually a non-lawyer) of an insura ... e company in approving settlements.
administrator :: n. the person appointed by the court to handle the ... e also: administer executor probate
adoption :: n. the taking of a child into one's family, creati ... the child are met. See also: adopt
advancement :: n. a gift made by a person to one of his or her ch ... tate gift in contemplation of death
after-acquired property :: n. 1) personal or real property acquired by a debt ... lso: bankruptcy secured transaction
after-acquired title :: n. title to property acquired after the owner atte ... ed title goes automatically to Sam.
amend :: v. to alter or change by adding, subtracting, or s ... mended pleading statute stipulation
appeal :: 1) v. to ask a higher court to reverse the decisio ... ng, as in "he has filed an appeal."
approach the bench :: v. an attorney's movement from the counsel table t ... ake a recess to go to the restroom.
assess :: v. to set a value on property, usually for the pur ... e place upon sale of real property.
attest :: v. 1) to confirm (usually in writing) that a docum ... also: holographic will will witness
Attorney General :: n. in each state and the federal government the hi ... izenry. See also: Solicitor General
attorney-client privilege :: n. the requirement that an attorney may not reveal ... ivileged communication work product
attorney-in-fact :: n. someone specifically named by another through a ... cument. See also: power of attorney
attorney's fee :: n. the payment for legal services. It can take sev ... ees in the particular type of case.
attorney's work product :: n. written materials, charts, notes of conversatio ... ivileged communication work product
audit :: n. an examination by a trained accountant of the f ... rmation provided. See also: auditor
authority :: n. permission, a right coupled with the power to d ... rize ostensible authority principal
bailiff :: n. 1) a court official, usually a deputy sheriff, ... isdictional territory of a bailiff.
bank :: n. 1) an officially chartered institution empowere ... erred to as "in bank" or "en banc."
bankruptcy :: n. a federal system of statutes and courts which p ... y proceedings trustee in bankruptcy
bar examination :: n. the examination given in each state by either t ... n that district. See also: attorney
caption :: n. the first section of any written legal pleading ... to the exact format of the caption.
cashier's check :: n. a check issued by a bank on its own account for ... ansfers, tax payments and the like.
check :: n. a draft upon a particular account in a bank, in ... rtified check negotiable instrument
claim against an estate :: n. upon the death of a person and beginning of pro ... ade to the heirs. See also: probate
color of title :: n. the appearance of having title to personal or r ... rty based on this "color of title."
common law :: n. the traditional unwritten law of England, based ... plied without reference to statute.
complaint :: n. the first document filed with the court (actual ... g prayer service of process summons
conclusion of fact :: n. in a trial, the final result of an analysis of ... quested. See also: finding judgment
conservator :: n. a guardian and protector appointed by a judge t ... ies. See also: conservatee guardian
constructive notice :: n. a fiction that a person got notice even though ... personally. See also: constructive
continuing objection :: n. an objection to certain questions or testimony ... ional distress. See also: objection
convey :: v. to transfer title (official ownership) to real ... ion conveyance deed grantee grantor
conveyance :: n. a generic term for any written document which t ... r Recorder of Deeds. See also: deed
court :: n. 1) the judge, as in "The court rules in favor o ... cost and wait of full court trials.
covenant :: 1) n. a promise in a written contract or a deed of ... o compete deed restrictive covenant
criminal calendar :: n. the list of criminal cases to be called in cour ... e plea preliminary hearing sentence
cross-complaint :: n. after a complaint has been filed against a defe ... g prayer service of process summons
declaration of mailing :: n. a form stating that a particular document has b ... other party. See also: declaration
deed :: 1) n. the written document which transfers title ( ... veyance deed of trust warranty deed
devise :: 1) v. an old-fashioned word for giving real proper ... so: bequest gift legacy remise will
devisee :: n. a person who receives a gift of real property b ... will. See also: beneficiary legatee
enjoin :: v. for a court to order that someone either do a s ... so: injunction temporary injunction
equal protection of the law :: n. the right of all persons to have the same acces ... laws." See also: due process of law
escrow :: 1) n. a form of account held by an "escrow agent" ... w the deal." See also: escrow agent
escrow instructions :: n. the written instructions by buyer and seller of ... ir agents. See also: closing escrow
estate :: n. 1) all that one owns in real estate and other a ... ife estate probate real estate will
execute :: v. 1) to finish, complete or perform as required, ... ishment contract executed execution
execution :: n. 1) the act of getting an officer of the court t ... so: death penalty writ of execution
executive clemency :: n. the power of a President in federal criminal ca ... ernor. See also: commutation pardon
executor :: n. the person appointed to administer the estate o ... sed decedent executrix probate will
extraordinary fees :: n. attorneys' fees claimed, usually in the adminis ... n. See also: attorney's fee probate
fictitious defendants :: n. when a party suing (plaintiff) is not sure if h ... are not permitted in federal cases.
fiduciary :: 1) n. from the Latin fiducia, meaning "trust," a p ... lation fiduciary relationship trust
file :: 1) v. to deposit with the clerk of the court a wri ... rrespondence and notes on the case.
fraud :: n. the intentional use of deceit, a trick or some ... audulent conveyance intrinsic fraud
general partner :: n. 1) usually one of the owners and operators of a ... ted partnership partner partnership
gift in contemplation of death :: n. (called a gift causa mortis by lawyers showing ... ift tax unified estate and gift tax
grant deed :: n. the document which transfers title to real prop ... rant grantee grantor quitclaim deed
grantor-grantee index :: n. a set of books and/or computerized lists found ... ument in tracking a chain of title.
hearsay rule :: n. the basic rule that testimony or documents whic ... interest dying declaration hearsay
holographic will :: n. a will entirely handwritten, dated and signed b ... lost in the desert. See also: will
impute :: v. 1) to attach to a person responsibility (and th ... also. See also: vicarious liability
in kind :: adj. referring to payment, distribution or substit ... . See also: distribution trust will
in propria persona :: adj. from Latin "for one's self," acting on one's ... client and an ass for an attorney."
indigent :: 1) n. a person so poor and needy that he/she canno ... person who is very poor and needy.
insanity :: n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a p ... M'Naughten rule temporary insanity
insolvency :: n. 1) the condition of having more debts (liabilit ... the property. See also: bankruptcy
insurance :: n. a contract (insurance policy) in which the insu ... t clause Workers' Compensation Acts
interest :: n. 1) any and all, partial or total right to prope ... nal property real property standing
irrelevant :: adj. not important, pertinent, or germane to the m ... ce immaterial incompetent objection
joint tenancy :: n. a crucial relationship in the ownership of real ... ty property tenancy in common title
jurat :: (jur-at) n. Latin for "been sworn," the portion of ... wledgment declaration notary public
jurisdiction :: n. the authority given by law to a court to try ca ... Superior Court Supreme Court venue
jury :: n. one of the remarkable innovations of the Englis ... hallenge sequester venire voir dire
justice :: n. 1) fairness. 2) moral rightness. 3) a scheme or ... e appellate courts. See also: court
land :: n. real property, real estate (and all that grows ... See also: real estate real property
lapse :: 1) v. to fail to occur, particularly a gift made i ... eficiary devisee legatee trust will
law :: n. 1) any system of regulations to govern the cond ... um maritime law natural law statute
law book :: n. any of numerous volumes dealing with law, inclu ... : common law law Shepardize statute
lease :: 1) n. a written agreement in which the owner of pr ... triple net lease unlawful detainer
legal aid society :: n. an organization formed to assist persons who ha ... bar association. See also: pro bono
legatee :: n. a person or organization receiving a gift of an ... eficiary devise devisee legacy will
leverage :: 1) n. the use of borrowed money to purchase real e ... e been created by risky leveraging.
levy :: 1) v. to seize (take) property upon a writ of exec ... heriff's sale tax writ of execution
libel :: 1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), wr ... libel per se public figure slander
life estate :: n. the right to use or occupy real property for on ... hter, Sadie, will own the property.
limited partnership :: n. a special type of partnership which is very com ... mited liability partner partnership
lis pendens :: (lease pen-dense) n. Latin for "a suit pending," a ... ob can be penalized by court order.
living will :: n. also called "a durable power of attorney," it i ... upport. See also: power of attorney
malpractice :: n. An act or continuing conduct of a professional ... eed. See also: errors and omissions
mechanic's lien :: n. the right of a craftsman, laborer, supplier, ar ... ll sue for the debt. See also: lien
merger :: n. 1) in corporate law, the joining together of tw ... and taking one, and wife the other.
Miranda warning :: n. the requirement, also called the Miranda rule, ... me such a suspect? See also: rights
motion :: n. a formal request made to a judge for an order o ... g, an oral motion may be permitted.
motion for a summary judgment :: n. a written request for a judgment in the moving ... strict procedures. See also: motion
net estate :: n. the remaining estate of a person who has died, ... alue. See also: estate tax gift tax
no fault insurance :: n: a type of automobile insurance required of car ... ling lawsuits. See also: negligence
not guilty :: n. 1) plea of a person who claims not to have comm ... t guilty by reason of insanity plea
notary public :: n. a person authorized by the state in which the p ... he state which appoints the notary.
notice :: n. 1) information, usually in writing in all legal ... Thirty-day notice three-day notice
notice to quit :: n. the notice given by a landlord (owner) to a ten ... h-to-month notice unlawful detainer
nuisance :: n. the unreasonable, unwarranted and/or unlawful u ... evening). See also: public nuisance
object :: 1) v. to ask the court not to allow a particular q ... he contract..." See also: objection
objection :: n. a lawyer's protest about the legal propriety of ... ng question object overrule sustain
oral contract :: n. an agreement made with spoken words and either ... itten. See also: agreement contract
palimony :: n. a substitute for alimony in cases in which the ... the relationship. See also: alimony
parcel :: n. a defined piece of real estate, usually resulti ... See also: real estate real property
pardon :: 1) v. to use the executive power of a Governor or ... also: amnesty commutation reprieve
personal service :: n. delivering a summons, complaint, notice to quit ... process substituted service summons
petition :: 1) n. a formal written request to a court for an o ... dent. See also: divorce motion writ
premises :: n. 1) in real estate, land and the improvements on ... t). See also: real estate structure
presumption :: n. a rule of law which permits a court to assume a ... resumption at all, but a certainty.
prima facie :: : (pry-mah fay-shah) adj. Latin for "at first look ... t" case. See also: prima facie case
privileged communication :: n. statements and conversations made under circums ... See also: attorney-client privilege
probate :: 1) n. the process of proving a will is valid and t ... e also: administrator executor will
product liability :: n. the responsibility of manufacturers, distributo ... e known. See also: warrant warranty
promissory note :: n. a written promise by a person (variously called ... lso: interest obligee obligor usury
proof :: n. confirmation of a fact by evidence. In a trial, ... doubt preponderance of the evidence
property :: n. anything that is owned by a person or entity. P ... rty real property separate property
qui tam action :: : (kwee tam) n. from Latin for "who as well," a la ... technical violations and/or errors.
real estate investment trust :: n. nicknamed REIT, a real estate investment organi ... its upon sale-if there is a profit.
real party in interest :: n. the person or entity who will benefit from a la ... st is the beneficiary of the trust.
real property :: n. 1) all land, structures, firmly attached and in ... onal property real estate reversion
reformation :: n. the correction or change of an existing documen ... neral partner sues for reformation.
sanction :: n. 1) a financial penalty imposed by a judge on a ... ction." See also: contempt of court
satisfaction of judgment :: n. a document signed by a judgment creditor (the p ... ord. See also: abstract of judgment
search and seizure :: n. examination of a person's premises (residence, ... robable cause search search warrant
search warrant :: n. a written order by a judge which permits a law ... ble cause search search and seizure
service :: n. 1) paid work by another person, either by contr ... ersonal services service of process
service of process :: n. the delivery of copies of legal documents such ... by publication substituted service
sign :: v. 1) to write one's signature on a document, incl ... language. See also: mark subscribe
slander :: n. oral defamation, in which someone tells one or ... . See also: defamation fair comment
speaking demurrer :: n. an attempt to introduce evidence during a heari ... the operation." See also: demurrer
special administrator :: n. a person appointed by the court in a probate pr ... or administrator. See also: probate
special appearance :: n. the representation by an attorney of a person i ... anged. See also: general appearance
special prosecutor :: n. an attorney from outside of the government sele ... Robert Bork finally discharged Cox.
spontaneous exclamation :: n. a sudden statement caused by the speaker having ... et hit the girl." See also: hearsay
statute of limitations :: n. a law which sets the maximum period which one c ... ies. See also: demurrer laches toll
straw man :: n. 1) a person to whom title to property or a busi ... a trail will mislead hunting dogs).
subpena duces tecum :: : (suh-pea-nah dooh-chess-take-uhm or dooh-kess-ta ... ng a court order. See also: witness
substituted service :: n. accomplishing service (delivery) of legal docum ... ee also: service service of process
substitution of attorney :: n. a document in which the party to a lawsuit stat ... t any time. See also: substitute in
summary adjudication of issues :: n. a court order ruling that certain factual issue ... is made. See also: summary judgment
summary judgment :: n. a court order ruling that no factual issues rem ... tion summary adjudication of issues
survivorship :: n. the right to receive full title or ownership du ... onvenience. See also: joint tenancy
title :: n. 1) ownership of real property or personal prope ... ink slip real property title search
trade fixture :: n. a piece of equipment on or attached to the real ... uch damage. See also: fixture trade
trust :: n. an entity created to hold assets for the benefi ... testamentary trust trustee trustor
ultra vires :: (uhl-trah veye-rehz) adj. Latin for "beyond powers ... it is issued. See also: corporation
will :: n. a written document which leaves the estate of t ... will and testament probate testator
witness :: 1) n. a person who testifies under oath in a trial ... lso: deposition evidence trial will

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Other Law Terms - P

paid into court :: adj. referring to money deposited with the clerk o ... differences. See also: interpleader
pain and suffering :: n. the physical and mental distress suffered from ... l damages special damages suffering
palimony :: n. a substitute for alimony in cases in which the ... the relationship. See also: alimony
pander :: 1) v. to solicit customers for a prostitute. 2) n. ... ons or favors. See also: prostitute
panderer :: n. 1) a person who panders or solicits for a prost ... special interests. See also: pander
panel :: n. the list of people selected to appear for jury ... or jury duty. See also: jury venire
paper hanger :: n. slang for a person who criminally writes and ca ... ey in them. See also: forgery fraud
par :: n. 1) an equal level. 2) the face value of a stock ... common stock preferred stock stock
paralegal :: n. a non-lawyer who performs routine tasks requiri ... h less than that for the attorneys.
paramount title :: n. a right to real property which prevails over an ... n's claim of title. See also: title
parcel :: n. a defined piece of real estate, usually resulti ... See also: real estate real property
pardon :: 1) v. to use the executive power of a Governor or ... also: amnesty commutation reprieve
parens patriae :: (paa-rens pat-tree-eye) n. Latin for "father of hi ... pport custody divorce guardian ward
parent :: n. the lawful and natural father or mother of a pe ... natural parent. See also: adoption
parental neglect :: n. a crime consisting of acts or omissions of a pa ... usive or sexually predatory person.
pari delicto :: adj. equal fault. See also: in pari delicto ... al fault. See also: in pari delicto
parish :: n. 1) a geographic area served by a church (partic ... overnmental equivalent of a county.
parody :: n. the humorous use of an existing song, play, or ... l significance. See also: copyright
parol :: adj. oral. See also: parol evidence rule ... oral. See also: parol evidence rule
parol evidence rule :: n. if there is evidence in writing (such as a sign ... or contradict the written document.