How to Terminate a Power of Attorney

Powers of attorney are very useful, flexible documents that any capable adult can make as long as he or she is of sound mind. After creating a power of attorney you maintain the ability to terminate it at any time. There are several ways you can do this.

Automatic Termination

Some powers of attorney contain provisions that automatically direct when the powers end. For example, if you grant someone financial power of attorney so that person can manage your finances while you are on vacation, you can include a clause in the document that terminates the agent’s right to act as soon as you return.

Voluntary Termination

You can also end a power of attorney anytime you choose as long as you remain mentally capable. For example, let’s say you give your agent the ability to buy and sell real estate on your behalf. After granting the power you then change your mind and decide you no longer want your agent to have this ability. The easiest way to terminate the power would be to contact the agent directly, preferably in writing and over the phone. Once the agent learns of the termination he or she can no longer represent you.

Potential Problems

Whenever you revoke a power of attorney you have to ensure that the agent learns of the termination. If, for example, you decide to revoke the power of attorney but the agent engages in actions on your behalf before learning of the revocation, that agent’s actions are still binding against you. The agent’s power only terminates when the agent learns of the revocation.

More Questions?

If you have more questions on terminating a Power of Attorney, contact our office today or consider attending one of our free estate planning workshops.  You can register for one of our workshops on our website.