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How do you revoke a Power of Attorney?

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By the time most people get to the point that they consider going to see an elder law attorney, they’ve seen a lawyer for something else like a Will if they have kids or possibly even a Power of Attorney (POA) especially in this area with its high number of military personnel. Maybe they’ve purchased a Legal Zoom form or bought some other legal software program. The point is that at one point you may have drawn up a POA and because the circumstances that caused you to draw up the document in the first place no longer exists or because you’ve changed your mind, you want to draw up another POA or at least revoke the current one. What do you have to do to revoke the old POA?

Our documents usually void any prior POA but should the attorney you see not include such language then depending upon the language both POAs could theoretically be active. If the POA hasn’t been recorded, revocation could be as simple as tearing up the old document. But, if it has been recorded say by a bank or other institution of if you’ve given a copy of the document to your Attorney-in-Fact, you may need to revoke the POA in writing. To cancel a POA, you must sign a document cancelling the powers you gave to another person and notify the parties. The revocation of Power of Attorney should be notarized. If you have property that was covered by the POA, the revocation should be filed in the county clerk office of any county where you have property that was covered by the POA.

POAs are automatically revoked when you pass and when you become incompetent (except if the POA specifically states that it will continue if you become incompetent). Once you become incompetent, you cannot revoke a POA.

You should consult with an elder law attorney if you have any questions about your specific circumstances.

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