The death of the principal terminates the agency, except when the agency is coupled with an interest. This is true though the death is unknown when the contract was attempted to be made.
Agency, as we have seen, is a personal relation and is entered into subject to the continued existence of the principal and agent. If the principal dies, the agency is thereby terminated. The estate or the heirs cannot claim a continuance of the agent's services.
If, however, the agency is coupled with an interest, as we have seen, it is irrevocable. There death of the principal does not terminate it for the same reasons that protect the agent in an attempted revocation by the principal.
The death of the agent terminates the agency except where the agency is coupled with an interest.
If the agent dies, the agency is terminated. The personal representative or the heirs cannot step in his place. If the agency is coupled with an interest, it may be carried out by the personal representatives for the benefit of the estate.
Insanity of either principal or agent terminates the agency, except when coupled with an interest.
The insanity of one of the parties removes his qualifications to act as principal or agent, except when coupled with an interest.
Bankruptcy will not in itself necessarily terminate an agency. If it so operates upon the subject matter thereof that it removes the purpose of the agency, the agency will be terminated.
Bankruptcy usually does not affect one's merely executory contracts. It does not necessarily affect the relation of principal and agent, especially if the bankruptcy be that of the agent.
War between the country of the principal and of the agent operates to dissolve the agency in so far as communication between principal and agent is essential.
Where the countries of the principal and agent are engaged in war, the effect of the war, in the absence of any special legislation, depends upon the nature of the agency. An agency in which the duty of the agent is to look after an alien principal's property is not dissolved by the war, but there can be no communication or transmission of funds.117
117. See note L. R. A. 1917 C, p. 667.