Revoking Power of Attorney

Revoking Power of AttorneyA power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone who you trust to act in your place. There are many reasons why someone would give a power of attorney to another party. In some cases, the trusted person acts on your behalf in all legal matters. They may take care of your banking or pay your bills. They simply step in and take care of your responsibilities when you are unable to. In other situations, they may only have a power of attorney to act for medical needs or financial purposes. If the power of attorney is a “durable” power of attorney, it stays in effect and that person continues to represent your interest in the event that you become mentally incapacitated. This is a huge responsibility that most families will face eventually. This is why it is smart to make these decisions before the need arises.

However, there may come a time when you become unhappy or untrusting of the person who holds the power of attorney for you. You have the right to change your power of attorney if your situation has changed. The first step is to revoke the power of attorney that is current. Having a durable power of attorney to act for you if you become mentally incapacitated is a very important part of life planning. Experts recommend you file a new durable power of attorney as soon as the original is revoked.

In order to revoke any previously signed power of attorney, you will file a Revocation of Power of Attorney. A Revocation of Power of Attorney is just like a power of attorney in reverse.

The revocation should include the following information:

  • Your name

  • A statement that you are in sound mind

  • The name of the person you are removing as power of attorney

  • The execution dates of the original power of attorney

Have this document notarized and (preferably) filed with the court clerk in the person’s location. Send the revocation papers or a letter explaining their removal as the power of attorney by certified mail. If you have assigned a new power of attorney, send a copy of the new orders with the revocation papers. Request the original power of attorney papers be returned to you. If they are not returned, keep copies of the certified letter showing the revocation. If returned, destroy the papers along with all copies.

Notify anyone who has a copy of the power of attorney papers of the change. Distribute copies of the new power of attorney to anyone who may need it and make sure to have a copy kept in a safe place. The courts will keep it on file, and you can request copies in the future if needed.

An attorney can easily help you with this simple legal process. If you are granting the privilege to someone else, file the new documents with your local county clerk. Many people allow their attorney to take care of this matter because it is easy and inexpensive to do so. It brings comfort and peace of mind knowing your future is legally secure.

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