A power of attorney is a document that allows one person to appoint another person to act as their agent to perform specified acts or to handle their affairs. The person to whom a power of attorney is given is referred to as an attorney-in-fact or agent.
Specific vs General. If the power entrusted is for a specific purpose or task, i.e. conveying a piece of property, it is known as a specific or special or limited power of attorney. If the power conveys broad general powers to an agent, it is known as a general or full power of attorney. While the specific power of attorney ends when the agent's task is completed, a general power of attorney comes to an end when the principal is dead or when the principal cancels it by issuing a notice to his agent.
Durable Power of Attorney. A durable power of attorney allows someone to make decisions even if the principal becomes incapacitated. It is often used as an estate planning tool. A nondurable power of attorney automatically ends if the grantor loses mental capacity or is otherwise incapacitated.
Proxy. A proxy is a specific power of attorney that allows one person to act on another person's behalf at membership meetings, e.g., to vote. The person receiving the proxy is called a proxyholder. As required by the Davis-Stirling Act, the proxyholder must be a member of the association. (Civ. Code § 5130(a)(1).) The use of proxies in homeowner association elections should be discouraged.
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