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Lasting Powers of Attorney

Revocation of Power of Attorney: A Comprehensive Guide

20th August 2021

A Power of Attorney is a document that enables you to nominate a person to be your legal agent. The legal agent (or attorney-in-fact) is the individual you choose to represent you. It is essential to consider that you elect an agent on whom you can rely. If you have a valid POA, the trusted person you designate will be legally able to undertake critical matters approved by the Principal, such as handling your assets or paying your bills.

Unfortunately, there have been instances where attorneys-in-fact have failed to carry out their responsibilities. If you granted someone a specific authorisation to act on your behalf in a POA form and decide there’s no reason for that person to have those powers, you can revoke those powers.

Because relationships and personal situations change over time, it’s an excellent idea to revisit your healthcare and financial powers of attorney every several years to ensure that your estate planning stays relevant. In this article, we will go over some significant aspects to consider when considering revoking your current POA.

What is a Revocation of Power of Attorney?

As previously stated, the Revocation of POA is a binding agreement used by the Power of Attorney signatory to revoke the agent’s authority. For the document to be effective, it must be presented to the same government institution that registered the original paperwork and afterwards notarised it. Most importantly, a notice of cancellation of the Power of Attorney should also be served on the agent.

Why Would You Desire a Lasting POA to be Revoked?

A great deal of trust is in the hands of those who have power of attorney. With that, it is necessary to guarantee that someone you have nominated is reliable and trustworthy. Despite the unfortunate situation, it is possible that an attorney-in-fact can abuse and misuse it. In the case of durable POA, your relationship with the agent you have designated may deteriorate, prompting you to decide to prohibit this person from administering your matters in the event of your incapacity.

There are a variety of reasons why someone would desire a revocation process: 

  1. The objective has been accomplished.
  2. The principal desires that agents be replaced.
  3. The principal believes the agent is not appropriately fulfilling the duties.
  4. The agent has lost interest in holding the POA.
  5. The principal intends to appoint a different attorney.
  6. The attorney-in-fact is no longer encouraged to act.
  7. The attorney-in-fact is unfit to represent the principal.

How to Reverse POA

There are four ways to revoke POA:

  1. By signing a new POA. By signing a new agent that declares you renounce all existing powers of attorney, you can transmit all the necessary responsibilities to someone else.
  2. Capacity. Capacity refers to a person’s mental condition and ability at the moment of the execution of the legal document. To obtain legal authorisation to implement the revocation document, you must be of sound mind. 
  3. Notice. You must notify your POA to know that you won’t need them to act on your behalf anymore. As a result, your attorney must be informed of the revocation for the notice to take full effect. It should be presented, signed, witnessed, and documented to ensure that its capacity is no longer exercisable.
  4. In writing. You can revoke your POA by signing a form. The document must be signed in front of a notary public by following your state’s law requirements. 

Changing your POA is a straightforward and inexpensive procedure. Before you appoint a new agent, make sure they are willing and capable of handling this crucial responsibility. Also, let your prior agent know about the revocation. 

When Will the Revocation Become Effective?

The revocation goes into effect once it is distributed to everyone who is required. In the Notice, you can also provide a future date when it will take full effect. Although a witness is not legally required, having someone see or observe you date and sign the Notice of Revocation may be beneficial. After you have signed the Notice, the witness can also sign it and print their contact information and name.

Allow Us to Assist You With Vital Estate Planning Documents

Powers of attorney are valuable estate planning instruments because they enable people to nominate others to manage their financial and healthcare matters if they are no longer able to make choices for themselves. Estate owners, on the other hand, should exercise caution when selecting an agent.

At Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors, our estate planning lawyers can assist you in establishing or revoking your POA and avoiding future issues. For example, we can support you in drafting the agreement so that it only becomes valid in the situation of multiple doctors certifying incapacitation. 

Contact us today to discover more about all the vital legal advice or get answers to any related questions you may have.