This Article explores the status of an agency when a competent principal enters into an agency relationship and thereafter becomes mentally incapacitated. On the one hand, does the status of the agency depend on factors relating to the principal such as type, length, or permanence of the incapacity? For instance, is the status of the agency the same when a principal lapses into a coma as it is when a conscious principal is incapacitated because of a mental disease such as schizophrenia? If in a coma, how does the length of the coma affect the status of the agency? Is a legal adjudication of insanity required to terminate the agency? On the other hand, is the agency status affected by notice to or knowledge of the agent or a third party dealing with the agent? For instance, is the agency terminated or suspended if either the agent or third party is without notice or knowledge of the principal's incapacity when they enter into a transaction for the principal's benefit? After exploring these questions and modifications of the basic common law rule, the Article examines whether the modifications have gone far enough. Finally, the Article suggests changes that could be made to avoid the remaining problems.
W. Alfred Mukatis, Does the Agency Die When the Principal Becomes Mentally Incapacitated?, 7 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 105 (1983).