A Power of Attorney is probably one of the most important legal documents that is prepared, as it gives someone enormous authority and responsibility to act on your behalf. Saying that, a common question I am asked, is under what circumstances can the power of attorney be revoked.

Generally, a revocation needs to be in writing and must clearly express the principal’s intention to revoke a specific POA. 

As the principal, you can revoke a power of attorney in many different ways:

  • Executing a new power of attorney, which states that you are revoking a prior POA
  • Putting provisions in a POA that state it will terminate or become ineffective under certain circumstances, such as your incapacity
  • Sending a written notice of the revocation to the agent and any monitor, secondary agent, successor agent, and any other relevant parties
  • A POA can also naturally terminate upon the conclusion of a specific event, such as in a situation where the principal had entered into a POA solely to close a particular real estate transaction.

A second way a POA can be overridden is through court intervention. For example, if you, as an agent, are no longer of sound mind, a court can remove you for acting improperly or acting in a manner that abuses your responsibilities as set forth in the POA.

If family members or friends are concerned about this situation, they can seek to have you removed as well.

Sometimes, the agent can decline for many reasons, to act as power of attorney When choosing an agent act for you, it is best to have discussed the responsibilities of this role before appointing them, so that you can do your best to avoid such a situation. This is one reason, it is a good idea to consider naming a successor agent.

Like any legal document of this importance, plan in advance who you shall select to act for you, and then fully discuss the responsibilities involved.

Be Educated! Be Proactive!