Power of attorney is a legal document that grants a person (the attorney-in-fact) the authority to act on behalf of another (the principal). It is a common tool used in estate planning, but can also be used in a variety of other situations, such as when someone is physically or mentally unable to make decisions or is unavailable to do so. This document should be taken seriously and canceled when no longer needed. Here are the steps to follow in order to revoke a power of attorney.
Terminate the Power of Attorney
The most important step to cancel a power of attorney is to terminate the power of attorney document. This can be done in different ways, depending on the type of document used. If a durable power of attorney document was used, then it must be revoked by the principal. This can be done in writing with a revocation of power of attorney form or by a verbal request for revocation that is witnessed and notarized. If a non-durable power of attorney was used, then it is automatically terminated once the principal dies, becomes incapacitated, or revokes the document.
Once the power of attorney has been terminated, it is important to give notice to any third parties involved. This includes financial institutions, healthcare providers, or any other party with whom the former attorney-in-fact interacted. The principal should provide a copy of the revoked or terminated power of attorney document along with a written statement.
File With the Court
In some states, it is necessary to file the revoked power of attorney document with the court. This step should be taken in order to ensure that the document is on record and can be referenced in the future if necessary.
Notify the Attorney-in-Fact
The principal should also notify the former attorney-in-fact of the revocation or termination of the power of attorney. This can be done in writing and should include a copy of the revoked document.
Sign New Documents
Once the power of attorney has been canceled, it is important to sign new documents if necessary. For example, if the power of attorney had given the attorney-in-fact control over financial matters, then the principal should sign new documents granting control back to him or her.
Revise Estate Plan
If the power of attorney was part of an estate plan, then it is necessary to revise it. This should be done with the help of a lawyer to ensure that all legal documents are properly drafted and filed.
If the power of attorney was linked to beneficiary designations, it is important to update them. Beneficiary designations should be revised to reflect any changes that have been made to the estate plan.
Finally, it is important to review all documents and make sure that they are accurate and up-to-date. This includes any official records, such as the wills, trusts, or other estate planning documents.
Cancelling a power of attorney document can seem like a daunting task, but it is important to ensure that the document is properly revoked and that all appropriate parties are notified. By following the steps outlined above, the process should be simple and straightforward.