A power of attorney is an important document created for various reasons, essentially allowing an agent to act on their behalf. There isn't just one type of power of attorney, some of which might be more challenging than others to revoke. As a general rule, you can withdraw this right you previously granted at any time.
Choosing a trustworthy person to be your agent or attorney-in-fact may help you avoid revoking your decision later on. In most cases, however, the principal needs a Power of Attorney Revocation because the agent is no longer available to act on their behalf or when there's no longer a need to have an agent.
A Power of Attorney Revocation is a written statement where the principal no longer needs or wants the appointed agent to act as their proxy. A principal is free to rescind a previously granted power of attorney at any time.
However, a power of attorney will remain valid until its revocation is notarized, and the agent is notified of the decision.
Depending on your state, a Power of Attorney Revocation may also be known as:
Power of Attorney Revocation
Durable Power of Attorney Revocation
Revocation of POA
Revocation of Power of Attorney
Anyone who no longer wants to give another individual the power to act on their behalf needs a Power of Attorney Revocation.
There's usually a good reason behind that decision. There might have been a change in the relationship between the principal and the agent, like in divorce. Another reason may be a change of mind as a result of broken trust.
In other cases, it may have to do with the fact that the agent has become unavailable, no longer mentally competent, or died. Some people may only temporarily execute a power of attorney – such as if they're going out of the country, undergoing a medical procedure, or even remanding to jail – and revoke it when it's not needed any longer.
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Revoking a power of attorney can sometimes be a matter of urgency. That's why it's so important to make sure you get everything right. Whether you decide to create a revocation or compose a new power of attorney, is up to you.
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To create your document, please provide:
Principal's personal information: Name, address, social security number, and other relevant information.
Former agent's personal information: Name, address, social security number, and additional relevant information.
Successor agents: If any, specify the successor agents listed in the original power of attorney.
Effective date: The date when the revocation goes into effect.
Signatures: Both the principal and the notary public need to sign the form.
Principal: The person who gives a power of attorney to an agent.
Agent: Also known as an attorney-in-fact, this is the person who has a power of attorney to act on behalf of a principal.
Fiduciary: A person who has to act in the best interest of another person, entity, or corporation.
General Power of Attorney: A type of power of attorney that gives authority to an agent to do business and financial decisions for the principal.
Limited Power of Attorney: A kind of power of attorney that is only valid for a limited scope of actions, often used when the principal is out of the country.
Health Care Directive: Also known as a living will, is a document that specifies your medical decisions for when you're not able to articulate them.
A Power of Attorney Revocation will follow similar guidelines required to create it in the first place. Since powers of attorney don't have a standardized form and may vary from state to state, the same applies to the revocation.
Before signing the revocation, make sure to review it carefully first. For the revocation to be valid, it needs to be witnessed and notarized.
After you have signed, witnessed, and notarized the Power of Attorney Revocation, a protocol needs to be followed. Start by providing a copy of the revocation to your agent.
Preferably, you want to ask them to return any copy of the original power of attorney. Next, you might want to send the revocation to all third parties involved to alert them of your decision.
For example, it could be an insurance company or a bank that should no longer take orders from the agent. Also, if the target power of attorney was recorded at the county clerk office, you should file the revocation there too.
For a power of attorney that you created but never distributed, destroying it would be the same as revoking it.
Just like all types of power of attorney are legally enforceable, so is the revocation. A POA is a legal document that requires notarization and witnesses to the principal’s signature. (Some states may also require the agent’s signature.) In certain cases, a copy of the power of attorney is sent to a court or another entity. A Power of Attorney Revocation needs to be in writing because a verbal revocation is usually not enough.
Given that one of the most common reasons that people need a Power of Attorney Revocation is a change of mind or distrust of the agent, they’ll still have the authorization to act on your behalf. Without a suitable Power of Attorney Revocation, you risk losing control over important areas of your life. You may also have to incur legal fees to remedy the situation. If you become distrustful or suspicious that your agent may not act in your best interest, executing a revocation is in order.
A betrayal of fiduciary duty is behind some people’s decision to revoke their powers of attorney. There are many examples of relationships that come with a fiduciary duty, of which that of the principal and agent is one. Among others, the agent must not have a conflict of interest with what they may carry out on behalf of the principal.
Irrevocable powers of attorney are extremely rare save for one version. In some cases, a clause can be added to a power of attorney stating that the principal’s revocation rights are limited. In most cases, however, if the principal is of sound mind and mental competence, they can revoke a power of attorney as they wish. Also, an agent may decide to extricate themself from the responsibility, which is separate from any Power of Attorney Revocation. In that case, an alternative agent will take over the duty.
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