Colo. Rev. Stat. § 15-14-710

Current through Chapter 123 of the 2024 Legislative Session
Section 15-14-710 - Termination of power of attorney or agent's authority
(1) A power of attorney terminates when:
(a) The principal dies;
(b) The principal becomes incapacitated, if the power of attorney is not durable;
(c) The principal revokes the power of attorney;
(d) The power of attorney provides that it terminates;
(e) The express purpose of the power of attorney is accomplished; or
(f) The principal revokes the agent's authority or the agent dies, becomes incapacitated, or resigns, and the power of attorney does not provide for another agent to act under the power of attorney.
(1.5) In the case of a power of attorney in existence on December 31, 2009, "incapacitated" shall mean an individual with an incapacity as specified in section 15-14-702(5)(a) and not as specified in section 15-14-702(5)(b) unless, on that date, this part 7 applies to the power of attorney as provided in section 15-14-745(2).
(2) An agent's authority terminates when:
(a) The principal revokes the authority;
(b) The agent dies, becomes incapacitated, or resigns;
(c) An action is filed for the dissolution or annulment of the agent's marriage to the principal or their legal separation, unless the power of attorney otherwise provides; or
(d) The power of attorney terminates.
(3) Unless the power of attorney otherwise provides, an agent's authority is exercisable until the authority terminates under subsection (2) of this section, notwithstanding a lapse of time since the execution of the power of attorney.
(4) Termination of an agent's authority or of a power of attorney is not effective as to the agent or another person that, without actual knowledge of the termination, acts in good faith under the power of attorney. An act so performed, unless otherwise invalid or unenforceable, binds the principal and the principal's successors in interest.
(5) Incapacity of the principal of a power of attorney that is not durable does not revoke or terminate the power of attorney as to an agent or other person that, without actual knowledge of the incapacity, acts in good faith under the power of attorney. An act so performed, unless otherwise invalid or unenforceable, binds the principal and the principal's successors in interest.
(6) The execution of a power of attorney does not revoke a power of attorney previously executed by the principal unless the subsequent power of attorney provides that the previous power of attorney is revoked or that all other powers of attorney are revoked.

C.R.S. § 15-14-710

L. 2009: Entire part added, (HB 09-1198), ch. 106, p. 388, §1, effective April 9.

OFFICIAL COMMENT

This section addresses termination of a power of attorney or an agent's authority under a power of attorney. It first lists termination events (see subsections (1) and (2)), and then lists circumstances that, in contrast, either do not invalidate the power of attorney (see subsections (3) and (6)) or the actions taken pursuant to the power of attorney (see subsections (4) and (5)).

Subsection (3) provides that a power of attorney under the Act does not become "stale." Unless a power of attorney provides for termination upon a certain date or after the passage of a period of time, lapse of time since execution is irrelevant to validity, a concept carried over from the Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act. See Unif. Durable Power of Atty. Act § 1 (as amended in 1987). Similarly, subsection (6) clarifies that a subsequently executed power of attorney will not revoke a prior power of attorney by virtue of inconsistency alone. To effect a revocation, a subsequently executed power of attorney must expressly revoke a previously executed power of attorney or state that all other powers of attorney are revoked. The requirement of express revocation prevents inadvertent revocation when the principal intends for one agent to have limited authority that overlaps with broader authority held by another agent. For example, the principal who has given one agent a very broad power of attorney, including general authority with respect to real property, may later wish to give another agent limited authority to execute closing documents with respect to out-of-town real estate.

Subsections (4) and (5) emphasize that even a termination event is not effective as to the agent or person who, without actual knowledge of the termination event, acts in good faith under the power of attorney. For example, the principal's death terminates a power of attorney (see subsection (1)(a)), but an agent who acts in good faith under a power of attorney without actual knowledge of the principal's death will bind the principal's successors in interest with that action (see subsection (4)). The same result is true if the agent knows of the principal's death, but the person who accepts the agent's apparent authority has no actual knowledge of the principal's death. See Restatement (Third) of Agency § 3.11 (2006) (stating that "termination of actual authority does not by itself end any apparent authority held by an agent"). See also Section 15-14-719(3) (stating that "[a] person that in good faith accepts an acknowledged power of attorney without actual knowledge that the power of attorney is . . . terminated . . . may rely upon the power of attorney as if the power of attorney were . . . still in effect . . . ."). These concepts are also carried forward from the Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act. See Unif. Durable Power Atty. Act § 4 (1987).

Of special note in the list of termination events is subsection (2)(c) which provides that a spouse-agent's authority is revoked when an action is filed for the dissolution or annulment of the agent's marriage to the principal, or their legal separation. Although the filing of an action for dissolution or annulment might render a principal particularly vulnerable to self-interested actions by a spouse-agent, subsection (2)(c) is not mandatory and may be overridden in the power of attorney. There may be special circumstances precipitating the dissolution, such as catastrophic illness and the need for public benefits, that would prompt the principal to specify that the agent's authority continues notwithstanding dissolution, annulment or legal separation.