A mandate contract is one in which an individual gives another person the power to carry out designated actions on the individual's behalf in legal dealings. This is commonly referred to as a "power of attorney."
The person authorizing another to act on the his behalf is known as the mandator, while the person receiving authorization to act on behalf of the other is known as the mandatory.
Mandate contracts may be specific, and limited to specific duties, or they may be general, and expressed in broader terms.
These contracts can be entered into for a variety of reasons. The mandator may be leaving on vacation or otherwise preoccupied and need to have a contract, lease or other legal document signed while he is away. The mandator may also be of sound mind but physically restricted, requiring use of a mandate contract in order to transact business or otherwise tend to the mandator's affairs. The powers of the mandatory are extended to include tasks that are incidental to the tasks specified in the mandate.
The contract itself can provide for a specific date when it expires. It may also be terminated when all of the obligations contained within the contract have been completed. A mandate contract can also be renounced or revoked by the mandatory or may lapse upon the death of either.