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Can you revoke a power of attorney?

An important aspect of planning for your future, both the inevitable and the unexpected, may include establishing a power of attorney. In this role, you may ask a trusted family member, friend or other acquaintance to act as your personal representative. Therefore, should illness or injury leave you incapacitated, this person may step in to make important decisions on your behalf.

After naming a power of attorney to serve as your personal representative, you may change your mind or other factors may come up, leading you to need someone else to serve in this role as your agent.

Reasons for revoking a power of attorney

Various factors may come up that cause you to want to change an established power of attorney. In some cases, your relationship with the person named may change. For example, you may not want a spouse to act as your personal representative after a divorce. Further, situations may occur that cause you to lose trust in the person you previously named and may push you to make a change. The unavailability, incapacity or death of the person you named as your agent may also lead to you needing to revoke a previously established power of attorney.

Paths to revoking a power of attorney

According to state law, you may revoke a power of attorney in one of two ways. You may issue a revocation for a previously established power of attorney through the terms included in the legal document granting the named agent powers as your personal representative. For example, this may include informing him or her orally that you wish to terminate their authority to act as your agent. Additionally, you may revoke a power of attorney by specifying your intention in writing or completing the appropriate state form.