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How can I revoke a power of attorney?

All estate planning documents should include a valid power of attorney. If you appointed a friend or relative as your power of attorney quite some time ago, circumstances may have changed that cause you to need to revoke this designation.

Perhaps the person you appointed has passed away or moved to a distant location where it would no longer be convenient for them to act in your stead if you become incapacitated. Maybe the two of you had a falling out or the person developed a drug or alcohol problem that caused you to no longer want them in charge of your affairs. What should be your next move?

Review the document

A well-crafted power of attorney (POA) should contain a stipulation revoking all existing and prior POAs. This is because it will be insufficient to verbally revoke the named person's authority to act on your behalf.

That makes it easy to revoke the POA by simply executing an updated power of attorney naming a different individual as your POA. In most cases, that will be all that you will need to do.

Your second option is to have your Cape Coral estate planning attorney draft a revocation of the power of attorney designation that is currently in effect.

The final step is to send via certified mail a copy of the new POA or revocation of the POA or simply write a statement that you have revoked their designation as your POA.

Should it be recorded?

In situations where you anticipate an adversarial relationship going forth with your former POA designee, it could be prudent to officially record the revocation in your county recorder's office. You should definitely file the revocation if the prior POA was recorded. Your revocation should include the following information regarding the prior recorded POA:

  • Book number
  • Page number
  • Instrument number

Your estate planning attorney can review your POA and answer any additional questions that you might have regarding the revocation of a POA. In rare circumstances, e.g., when you suspect your POA of engaging in fraudulent acts to your detriment, it might be necessary to take legal action against your former POA if they don't cease all actions taken on your behalf.

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