There are three kinds of agent which are classified by the law, the first is the universal agent. A universal agent can do most things for the principal in the principle agent relationship. The universal agent may be appointed by power of attorney. The power of attorney is the deed signed by the principle and witnessed by the principle. The donor of the power gives the the agent or the attorney the power or the authority to act on behalf of the principle. For example, the principle may be travelling or living overseas or maybe in hospital or have limited mobility. The power of attorney may be general or it may be limited to a particular area, a particular purpose such as the sale of a particular property or a period of time such as one year or until someone returns from overseas. Appointing an attorney can give peace of mind for spouses or family members as they give each other power of attorney in case of accident or absence. The power of attorney can be stopped like any other agency appointment.
The other types of an agency type relationship include the general agent which has less power than universal agent. The general agent can make contracts and do things for the principle, they may do things which are normal in the ordinary business of the principle. For example, the agent may be employed to manage all the principles shops or maybe employed as a travelling representative or may be employed to do an act which is within the normal scope of the agencies own business. The final type of agent is a special agent which is limited and has even more narrowly defined powers than universal and the general agent. The special agent is appointed for a specific purpose or to do something which is not within the course of the agents than usual business. For example, a real estate agent may be appointed a special agent not to sell a house but to sell furniture in the house, because selling furniture is outside the ordinary business of real estate agent. Many occupations including accountants and travel agents fit in this model.