Revoking a Power of Attorney

The process of revoking a power of attorney is simply a matter of filling out another form. You need to state in writing that you are canceling the powers you previously granted.


Anytime you are no longer using a power of attorney it is a good idea to revoke it in writing. Powers of attorney can be powerful documents and revoking them, when no longer needed, is a good way of protecting yourself.


A power of attorney can be revoked at any time, for any reason. After the revoking a power of attorney form has been notarized, send, or give, a copy to the person holding the power of attorney and ask for their paperwork back in return. Once a power of attorney has been revoked it cannot be legally used, but that does not mean it would not be accepted if someone were to try. Getting back the original power of attorney form is an important part of the process.


If you suspect there could be any problems with the agent continuing to use the POA, you should send a copy of the revocation document to places where they could cause the most damage -- like your bank or mutual fund, etc.


It is advised that the proper form be used when revoking a power of attorney. These forms, as well as many other legal documents, are available at Legal Zoom. You may choose to have your estate planning attorney handle this for you, and that's fine also, as long as it gets done.


Getting a divorce is one of those times when you might need to revoke a power of attorney. If you have durable powers of attorney in your estate plan, with your spouse as the agent, then you should revoke them. Some states void these powers of attorney automatically, but many do not. When it is automatic, it is done at the time the divorce is final. These documents should be revoked at the time of filing for a divorce, just to be on the safe side. Sometimes, the emotions caused by a separation, account for a lot of strange behavior. Safeguarding all of your property and investments until the divorce is final, and property legally split, is very important.


Maybe you left several powers of attorney behind the last time you left the country on vacation. When you are back home safely, and no longer need these documents, it is a good idea to revoke them. Revoking a power of attorney is easy and is just one of those things that needs to be taken care of.


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