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.