Can you verbally revoke power of attorney?
Letting someone else make decisions for you can be a lifesaver. For instance, if you were involved in an accident and the hospital needed permission to perform surgery on you, having a trusted family member make that choice can literally save your life.
In the area of law, we call the ability to make decisions for someone else the Power of Attorney, or POA for short. Once a POA is given to someone – whether that be for a bank account or a will – that person will have a certain amount of power over the grantor’s assets. That brings us to the question: can you verbally revoke the Power of Attorney?
To put it simply, yes, but there are a few conditions. First and foremost, the parameters of a POA are governed by State laws. So depending on the state you established a POA in, the methods of legitimate revocations may vary. But we can leave that for later. For now, let’s take a look at the Power of Attorney and see why you might want to revoke it.
What is a Power of Attorney?
By definition, the Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives one person, the Agent or the Attorney-in-Fact, the power to act and make decisions for another person, known as the Principal. The Attorney-in-Fact may be given limited or broad power to decide the Principal’s finances, property, medical care, investments and more. POA can be granted over a number of things, so it’s always best to check for legal experts in your local area to see how the State and county laws work.
What is the Revocation of the POA?
The Principal might change their mind about their Power Of Attorney, which can revoke their POA. The Revocation of a POA is a legal document that cancels the Power of Attorney. This document is created when the Principal is not in need or wants of the Agent or the Attorney-in-fact anymore to act and make decisions on their behalf.
There might be several reasons behind this decision, and here are some reasons why someone may want to revoke the Power of Attorney.
Reasons Behind The Revocation of the POA
Most commonly, the person you choose as the Attorney-in-Fact might no longer be the best person for the position:
- The Principal’s relationship with the Attorney-in-Fact might not be similar to when the Attorney-in-Fact was originally chosen. The Principal can revoke the POA and sign a new one after consulting a Legal Services Corporation.
- The Attorney-of-Fact might have dementia, mental or physical disease, therefore do not have the mental capacity to act as the Agent compared to when they first signed on to be the Principal’s Attorney-in-Fact.
- The Agent might not be available for the Principal to properly act and take decisions on their behalf. For example, The Attorney-in-Fact might’ve moved overseas and may not live in the same country or state as the Principal, so he or she will not make decisions for the Principal. In such a situation, the Agent can revoke their POA. Such situations can be consulted and acted on with the help of a Legal Law Firm.
- The Attorney-in-Fact might not want to act as the Agent to the Principal anymore.
- There might not be a particular reason behind this decision since it is, in fact, the Principal’s choice, and they might decide that they do not want to have a Power Of Attorney anymore.
How Can the Power of Attorney Be Revoked?
You can revoke your POA either verbally or in a written form.
The Principal can verbally inform the Attorney-in-fact that their Power Of Attorney is revoked. A Verbal Revocation needs to be in the presence of witnesses and the surety that the Principal’s State Law doesn’t demand a written revocation.
Even if the State Laws don’t make it mandatory for the Revocation to be written, it is, in fact, the best option to avoid any misunderstandings. The Principal has to sign a revocation of POA form, usually in the presence of a notary. The Principal can also transfer the Power of Attorney from one individual to another, which would mean the latter is now the Attorney-in-fact. All of this can be done with the consultation and help of a Legal Services Corporation.
Last of all, keep in mind that this is just a simple overview of the Power of Attorney. Depending on which state you are in and the type of situation, what you have to do to revoke or invoke a POA may differ. To understand more, we recommend contacting a legal help firm for a consultation.