How to Revoke a Power of Attorney

After completion of a Power of Attorney (POA) form and transferring responsibility from principal to an agent, there can be a moment when the principal wants to cancel the deal. In this case, a principal should know how to revoke a power of attorney. There is a form that stops the validity of POA and removes responsibility from an agent, and it is called a Power of Attorney Revocation Form.

Important terms:

Principal — a person who transfers their responsibilities to another person;

Agent — a person who acts on behalf of the principal after recording power of attorney.

Reasons to File a Power of Attorney Revocation Form

The most common situation for revocation of the POA is the completion of the assigned agent tasks.

However, there are more conditions when principals need to cancel power of attorney related to their property:

  • Lack of trust in an agent;

  • An agent cannot perform the tasks due to illness or death;

  • An agent made mistakes completing tasks;

  • The necessity to change an agent;

  • The principal wants to make changes in the conditions of POA.

Keep in mind that the principal is not required to tell the agent the reason for POA cancellation. The only thing the principal should do is to inform the agent that POA was revoked legally.

Besides, the main reason to complete the written form of revocation is to confirm the decision in a legally binding way. Later on, the principal will need to prove the cancellation of POA in some organizations where an agent made operations on behalf of the principal.

Ways to Revoke a Power of Attorney

There are two main approaches to revocation of a power of attorney by the principal:

  • Request for cancellation with the power of attorney revocation form;

  • Elimination of all copies of original POA.

The first way is more common as it guarantees total revocation of POA. Additionally, some states allow people to cancel POA with an arrangement of a new one. Even if this situation is possible, completion of the power of attorney revocation form is recommended by states. Nonetheless, a principal only can request the cancellation of POA if this person sounds mind. Otherwise, the court should decide who can make decisions on behalf of the principal.

Process of a Power of Attorney Revocation

It is crucial to complete all the revocation steps to make sure that an agent will not be able to use the rights provided by the previous power of attorney. That is why you should know the whole process of a power of attorney revocation.

Here is a short tutorial:

1. Fill in personal information about the principal and POA.

As a principal, you should enter the state and county where you recorded the previous POA. Also, you have to provide your full name and address in the form. Then, you should fill in the date of execution of the POA you want to cancel. Additionally, you need to write the name of the attorney-in-fact (agent).

2. Sign the form and put the date.

Further, the principal must sign the form and enter the date of signing. The document will be legally binding only if the signature was made in the presence of the notary public and witnesses. You need to invite witnesses to this procedure as it will confirm the fact that the revocation was made by the principal. Otherwise, the agent may refuse the cancellation of a power of attorney.

3. Get notarization and approval by witnesses.

Later parts of the power of attorney revocation form should be completed and signed by witnesses and the notary public. These steps are crucial for the legitimization of revocation.

4. File the paper.

It is mandatory to file a revocation form in your local office, mainly if the previous POA form was recorded there.

5. Notify the agent.

Send a revocation form with a certified email to the agent to ensure that the person received it. It is vital to inform the person who acted on behalf of the principal that the POA was canceled to avoid misunderstandings.

6. Inform other institutions.

If you know that some organizations or institutions received POA forms before, and an agent can act on your behalf there, you should inform them as well. It will help prevent situations when an agent continues to use the rights transferred to them before the cancellation of POA.

7. Eliminate all copies of your POA.

When an agent and all organizations know that POA is not valid anymore, you should check if they destroyed all the copies of that form. Ensure that there are no more documents of POA that an agent can use to confirm their responsibilities.