Revoking a Power of Attorney

Revoking a Power of Attorney

As mentioned earlier, your agent will have the authority to bind you by what he or she does on your behalf. To guard against your agent getting out of control, you must have the ability to end his or her right to represent you. There are specific ways to go about revoking a power of attorney.

Some powers of attorney provide that they end on a certain date. If such a provision is not part of your power of attorney, the agent's authority continues until you take some action to end it. Generally, you must sign another document revoking the power of attorney and give a copy of it to anyone who knows about, or has relied on, the power of attorney.

Anyone who is aware of the power of attorney and has conducted business with your agent may continue to assume your agent has authority until you notify them otherwise. Be sure to give them a copy of the revocation, preferably either by return-receipt mail, or by having them date and sign a copy so you have proof it was received.

In addition to notifying your agent, you will need to notify certain people of your revocation. In the case of a financial power of attorney, you need to notify those people with whom your agent has conducted business on your behalf, as well as anyone else who is aware of the power of attorney. These people or businesses should be given a copy of the written revocation.

In the case of a power of attorney for health care (or a living will), you need to notify your doctor, hospital or other health care providers. Some state laws allow you to notify health care providers orally, although a written revocation is still the best way.

  • Introduction to Power of Attorney
    A power of attorney is a document that lets you name someone to make decisions on your behalf. This appointment can take effect immediately if you become unable to make those decisions on your own. For example, if you become mentally incapacitated, or leave the country for a period of time, you...
    read more
  • Definition of a Power of Attorney
    A power of attorney is a document you can use to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf. The person you designate is called an "attorney-in-fact." The appointment can be effective immediately or can become effective only if you are unable to make decisions on...
    read more
  • Durable Power of Attorney Permissions
    You can give your attorney-in-fact as many or as few powers as you want. A power of attorney can authorize your agent to do any or all of the following on your behalf:
    read more
  • Legal Requirements for a Power of Attorney
    There are two essential elements of a valid power of attorney:
    read more
  • Married Couples and Power of Attorney
    You should not assume your spouse will have total control of your finances if you become incapacitated. Although your spouse has some rights over property you own together, like joint bank accounts, he or she is restricted from doing certain things with that property. For example, generally both...
    read more
  • Putting a Power of Attorney into Effect
    A durable power of attorney can be drafted so it becomes effective as soon as you sign it. Alternately, you can specify that it will not become effective unless a doctor certifies that you have become incapacitated. This is called a "springing" power of attorney. It...
    read more