There are times when you need to revoke the power of attorney you granted someone in the past.
A few weeks ago, we talked about some of the reasons people have for revoking a power of attorney (POA). Now, let's talk about the right way to revoke a POA -- because this isn't something you want to get wrong.
1. Look at your copy of the existing POA document. You want to check to see if there are any specific or unusual steps that are necessary to follow in order to revoke it. Most don't include any. However, you want to be sure before you start.
In most POAs, however, there is a clause that says you can revoke it simply by writing a new one. While that's simple enough, you still want to go about this process carefully so that there is no confusion down the line about who has your blessing to act on your behalf.
2. Contact your attorney. You want to make certain that your new POA is executed properly. Your attorney can also, if necessary, attest that you weren't acting out of duress -- should that become a question later.
Explain to your attorney what you want to do and who you want to hold your POA now so that the documents can be executed right away.
3. Notify your previous POA in writing that his or her authority to act on your behalf has been revoked. Generally, it's wisest to send the notice both by regular mail and certified mail -- so that there's no question the message was received.
4. Make sure that you notify any other place that may be relevant -- particularly banks where your previous POA has been used.
If you're ready to make some changes to your estate plan and other end-of-life documents, an attorney can help you get everything in order so you can get back to your regular life.