Ending a Power of Attorney Relationship

Ending a Power of Attorney Relationship

Last updated: July 2010

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A power of attorney is a form which gives another person the power to make some decisions for you when you cannot make decisions for yourself. The person whose decisions will be made for them is called the principal and the person that is making decisions is called the agent. You can choose who to give this power to. The person you choose is usually your spouse, a close friend, or a trusted relative. This person is called your "agent" or "attorney in fact." You can end a power of attorney relationship at any time. How you end a power of attorney relationship depends whether you are the agent or principal. Click on words that appear like 'this' to learn what these words mean.What is a power of attorney? A power of attorney is a form which gives another person the power to make some decisions for you when you cannot make decisions for yourself. The person whose decisions will be made for them is called the principal and the person that is making decisions is called the agent.You can choose who to give this power to. The person you choose is usually your spouse, a close friend, or a trusted relative. This person is called your "agent" or "attorney in fact." You can choose more than one agent, but only one agent can make decisions for you at any one time. If you do choose more than one agent, the first agent will make decisions for you until that agent is unable or unwilling to act on your behalf.Can I cancel a power of attorney? Yes. You can end a power of attorney relationship at any time. How you end a power of attorney relationship depends on whether you are the principal or the agent.When can I revoke my power of attorney? You can revoke your power of attorney at any time. Your mental or physical condition does not affect your ability to cancel.How do I revoke my power of attorney? You can revoke a power of attorney in 3 ways:By destroying the documentBy writing a letter that says you want to end the power of attorney relationshipBy an oral statement or other expressionDestroying the DocumentYou can revoke a power of attorney by destroying, burning, or tearing the power of attorney document in a way that shows your intent to cancel the relationship.WritingYou, or someone under your direction, can cancel the durable power of attorney by writing a Notice of Revocation. See the "Notice of Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney" in the "Forms/Letters" section of this guide for an online program that will help you fill out the forms. The Notice must be signed by a Notary Public.By an Oral Statement or Other Expression You can revoke a durable power of attorney by saying you would like the relationship to end. You must do this in front of a witness who is at least 18 years old. Then the witness must sign and date a writing saying that your statement to stop the relationship was made.If I am the agent, how do I end the power of attorney? An agent may refuse to act on behalf of the principal for any reason. You can end the power of attorney by creating a Letter of Resignation. To use an online program that will create the letter of resignation you need to resign as an agent for power of attorney, see the "Forms/Letters" section of this guide.The form must be signed by a Notary Public.As the Principal, Revoke a Power of Attorney in One of Three Ways Revoke a power of attorney by:Destroying the documentWriting a letter that says you want to end the power of attorney relationship, orMaking an oral statement or other expressionDestroying the DocumentDestroy, burn, or tear the Power of Attorney in a way that shows your intent to cancel the relationship.WritingGo to the "Forms/Letters" section of this guide to fill out the "Notice of Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney." This online program will help you fill out the form;Take the Notice of Revocation to a notary public and have it notarized. You must sign your name in front of the notary public. Then the notary public will sign the form.Notary services are available for a small fee at most banks and Currency Exchanges.By an Oral Statement or Other Expression Say you would like the relationship to end when:You are in front of a witness who is at least 18 years old; and Have the witness sign and date a writing saying that your statement to stop the relationship was made.As the Agent, Use a Notice of Resignation to End a Durable Power of Attorney 1. Go to the "Forms/Letters" section of this guide to fill out the "Letter for Resignation of Agent for Power of Attorney";2. Take the Notice of Resignation to a notary public;3. Sign the form in front of the notary public;4. Then the notary public will sign the form.Notary services are available for a small fee at most banks and Currency Exchanges.Keep All Documents for Your Records Make sure you keep the original, notarized Notice of Revocation or Notice of Resignation for your records.Let other people know that you ended the power of attorney To be sure there is no confusion about you ending the Power of Attorney to tell other people you think should know. If you completed a Notice of Revocation or Letter of Resignation, send copies of your signed letter to:Principal (if you are the agent)Family membersYour doctor if this is a power of attorney for health care, and Anyone else who you think should know

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