Status in society can be granted in a number of ways including income level and social schedule. In a legal sense, status is granted by the state by using documents such as letters of office. Letters of office are documents designed to grant people the status and authority to execute actions on behalf of others whether those others are living or dead.
Many who die leave behind possessions, money and messages which are then passed on to loved ones and friends. Although there are legal precedents regarding inheritance of the decedent’s possession at the time of departure, often a will is prepared in advance to define how the decedent wishes to disperse his possessions. This will is sometimes drawn up years in advance. When new family members such as a new wife or yet unborn children enter into the equation and the person dies before the will can be changed, it is sometimes necessary for a family member to protest the will’s validity. The judge grants the family member letters of office which give a family member or valid contestant the right to challenge the will in favor of general legal precedent.
Conducting your affairs through an authorized agent, also known as business by proxy, often requires the permission of a judge. Power of Attorney is a letter of office that enables the holder to barter, receive or transmit, purchase and speak on the behalf of the signatory. This letter of office can be broadly applicable in cases such as those pertaining to the severely handicapped or the bedridden, or can be limited to the scope of a single affair such as the receipt of unclaimed tangible property or wages held by the state. In either case, the letter of office must be signed by a judge and is legally binding.
A letter of office given by an owner to a manager defines the scope of a manager’s authority over an establishment and any employees or money retained by that establishment. The degree of this authority can range from handling day to day maintenance and employee relations to handling all of the financial affairs of the business.
Sean Russell has been writing since 1999 and has contributed to several magazines, including "Spin" and "Art Nouveau." When not writing, Sean helps maintain community gardens in Silver Lake and Echo Park, California. Russell also worked extensively on the restoration and rejuvenation of public parks in Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi after damage from 2004-2005 hurricanes.