A significant benefit of a Power of Attorney is its flexibility. You can choose whomever you want to make decisions for you, and you can be as narrow or broad as you like regarding the authority you assign that person. You can also make those roles and responsibilities effective immediately or kick in later. That said, you need to trust the person you appoint as your agent.
If you can’t, or the relationship changes, you should revoke that power.
How do I revoke a Power of Attorney?
There are many reasons why someone might choose to revoke a Power of Attorney:
- You no longer need or want it.
- Your relationship with the attorney-in-fact has changed (divorce, disagreements, etc.).
- The attorney-in-fact is abusing their authority.
- The attorney-in-fact is no longer available to perform their role.
- Your best interests aren’t being served.
- Death or incapacity of the attorney-in-fact.
The good news is that revoking a Power of Attorney doesn’t require anyone’s permission. It is relatively simple, provided you have sufficient mental capacity to understand that you are revoking it. To do so, you will need to prepare and sign a written revocation statement with the agent’s name and the date you made the Power of Attorney. Have that revocation document acknowledged by a notary public and hand-deliver copies to your attorney-in-fact and everyone they dealt with on your behalf.
The list of people and entities they may have dealt with already could include individuals, businesses, and financial institutions. They need to know immediately that your existing agent no longer acts on your behalf and that all copies of the POA need to be destroyed.
From there, you can choose to draft a new Power of Attorney with your estate planning attorney.
Having a qualified estate planning attorney draft your Power of Attorney is the best course of action if you ever need one. Not only will they help you properly define the scope of authority, duration, and other important matters, but they can advise you on additional legal instruments that will cover you and your family for years to come.
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