Search Articles

Find Attorneys

Revoking a Power of Attorney

  • November 30th, 2022

Power of Attorney document with eyeglasses nearby.

With a power of attorney, you can appoint another person to act on your behalf. However, in some cases, a particular arrangement might no longer serve your interests.

Local Elder Law Attorneys in Your City

Elder Law Attorney

Firm Name
City, State

Elder Law Attorney

Firm Name
City, State

Elder Law Attorney

Firm Name
City, State

As long as you have the mental capacity to understand what you are doing and to make decisions, you can revoke your power of attorney at any time for any reason.

What Is a Power of Attorney For?

A power of attorney can protect you, as you have a responsible person acting on your behalf if you need help. When someone you genuinely trust is your agent, the arrangement can be beneficial.

For example, if you become hospitalized and cannot make health care or financial decisions, your agent can carry out your wishes and handle your affairs.

A power of attorney for property allows you to name someone who can access your bank account and pay bills, whereas a power of attorney for health care gives your agent the ability to make medical decisions for you. A limited power of attorney grants someone specific powers. Depending on your wishes, your power of attorney can take effect immediately, or a life event, such as incapacity, can trigger it.

Using a power of attorney to appoint an agent can protect your autonomy. Without a power of attorney, the court might appoint a guardian for you if you become incapacitated. Subject to the court’s authority, you might not have the opportunity to choose the person acting for you. While you would have to petition the court to end a guardianship, you can revoke a power of attorney yourself without the court’s involvement.

Reasons for Canceling Your Power of Attorney

When you cancel your power of attorney, your named agent can no longer handle your affairs.

You may wish to revoke your power of attorney in the following circumstances:

  • After your agent passes away. If your agent dies and you do not have your desired successor agent on the power of attorney document, appointing a new agent will require a new document.
  • You no longer trust your agent. Your relationship with your agent may have deteriorated, so you no longer trust the individual you appointed. For example, if your agent steals funds from your account, disrespects your wishes, or abuses you, you should end your power of attorney.
  • The individual can no longer act as your agent or does not want the responsibility. For instance, your agent gets sick or moves away.
Steps to Take

Once you have resolved to end your power of attorney, there are several ways you can take away your agent’s legal power to make decisions for you.

  • Execute a revocation of power of attorney form. Typically, the document includes your name, the agent’s name, the date your power of attorney took effect, and the revocation date. Some state laws require individuals to have a notary public certify the record.

    Since having a power of attorney in place can protect your rights and safeguard your autonomy if you become incapacitated, consider executing a new power of attorney.

  • Create a new power of attorney. This can also negate any previous power of attorney. When you make a new power of attorney, you can include a provision stating that you cancel any prior power of attorney documents.
     
  • In some states, you can withdraw a power of attorney orally. For instance, if you are in the hospital and your agent tries to make choices you disagree with, you might no longer want their help. You may also be able to terminate your power of attorney by destroying the document.

    While it may be possible to take away your agent’s power without a written document, it is best to have the revocation in writing, either with a revocation form or with a new power of attorney.

Speak to an elder law attorney to learn more about terminating a power of attorney.


Last Modified: 11/30/2022
Learn the secrets of estate planning from an expert
ADVERTISEMENT
Medicaid 101
What Medicaid Covers

In addition to nursing home care, Medicaid may cover home care and some care in an assisted living facility. Coverage in your state may depend on waivers of federal rules.

READ MORE
How to Qualify for Medicaid

To be eligible for Medicaid long-term care, recipients must have limited incomes and no more than $2,000 (in most states). Special rules apply for the home and other assets.

READ MORE
Medicaid’s Protections for Spouses

Spouses of Medicaid nursing home residents have special protections to keep them from becoming impoverished.

READ MORE
What Medicaid Covers

In addition to nursing home care, Medicaid may cover home care and some care in an assisted living facility. Coverage in your state may depend on waivers of federal rules.

READ MORE
How to Qualify for Medicaid

To be eligible for Medicaid long-term care, recipients must have limited incomes and no more than $2,000 (in most states). Special rules apply for the home and other assets.

READ MORE
Medicaid’s Protections for Spouses

Spouses of Medicaid nursing home residents have special protections to keep them from becoming impoverished.

READ MORE
Medicaid Planning Strategies

Careful planning for potentially devastating long-term care costs can help protect your estate, whether for your spouse or for your children.

READ MORE
Estate Recovery: Can Medicaid Take My House After I’m Gone?

If steps aren't taken to protect the Medicaid recipient's house from the state’s attempts to recover benefits paid, the house may need to be sold.

READ MORE
Help Qualifying and Paying for Medicaid, Or Avoiding Nursing Home Care

There are ways to handle excess income or assets and still qualify for Medicaid long-term care, and programs that deliver care at home rather than in a nursing home.

READ MORE
Are Adult Children Responsible for Their Parents’ Care?

Most states have laws on the books making adult children responsible if their parents can't afford to take care of themselves.

READ MORE
Applying for Medicaid

Applying for Medicaid is a highly technical and complex process, and bad advice can actually make it more difficult to qualify for benefits.

READ MORE
Alternatives to Medicaid

Medicare's coverage of nursing home care is quite limited. For those who can afford it and who can qualify for coverage, long-term care insurance is the best alternative to Medicaid.

READ MORE
ElderLaw 101
Estate Planning

Distinguish the key concepts in estate planning, including the will, the trust, probate, the power of attorney, and how to avoid estate taxes.

READ MORE
Grandchildren

Learn about grandparents’ visitation rights and how to avoid tax and public benefit issues when making gifts to grandchildren.

READ MORE
Guardianship/Conservatorship

Understand when and how a court appoints a guardian or conservator for an adult who becomes incapacitated, and how to avoid guardianship.

READ MORE
Health Care Decisions

We need to plan for the possibility that we will become unable to make our own medical decisions. This may take the form of a health care proxy, a medical directive, a living will, or a combination of these.

READ MORE
Estate Planning

Distinguish the key concepts in estate planning, including the will, the trust, probate, the power of attorney, and how to avoid estate taxes.

READ MORE
Grandchildren

Learn about grandparents’ visitation rights and how to avoid tax and public benefit issues when making gifts to grandchildren.

READ MORE
Guardianship/Conservatorship

Understand when and how a court appoints a guardian or conservator for an adult who becomes incapacitated, and how to avoid guardianship.

READ MORE
Health Care Decisions

We need to plan for the possibility that we will become unable to make our own medical decisions. This may take the form of a health care proxy, a medical directive, a living will, or a combination of these.

READ MORE
Long-Term Care Insurance

Understand the ins and outs of insurance to cover the high cost of nursing home care, including when to buy it, how much to buy, and which spouse should get the coverage.

READ MORE
Medicare

Learn who qualifies for Medicare, what the program covers, all about Medicare Advantage, and how to supplement Medicare’s coverage.

READ MORE
Retirement Planning

We explain the five phases of retirement planning, the difference between a 401(k) and an IRA, types of investments, asset diversification, the required minimum distribution rules, and more.

READ MORE
Senior Living

Find out how to choose a nursing home or assisted living facility, when to fight a discharge, the rights of nursing home residents, all about reverse mortgages, and more.

READ MORE
Social Security

Get a solid grounding in Social Security, including who is eligible, how to apply, spousal benefits, the taxation of benefits, how work affects payments, and SSDI and SSI.

READ MORE
Special Needs Planning

Learn how a special needs trust can preserve assets for a person with disabilities without jeopardizing Medicaid and SSI, and how to plan for when caregivers are gone.

READ MORE
Veterans Benefits

Explore benefits for older veterans, including the VA’s disability pension benefit, aid and attendance, and long-term care coverage for veterans and surviving spouses.

READ MORE