A power of attorney is a document that grants certain powers to an agent, known as an attorney-in-fact. A power of attorney for health care gives your agent authority to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated. A power of attorney remains in effect until you revoke it. Revocation renders the power of attorney null and void and is typically done for reasons such as naming a new person as agent if your appointed agent is unable or unwilling to carry out his duties.
Revoking a Basic Power of Attorney
Prepare a written revocation statement. The document should include language that states your intent to revoke your power of attorney. You can draft this document yourself or have your attorney do so. You will need to sign the revocation statement in the presence of witnesses -- usually two -- and they will also have to sign the statement. In addition to the witnesses, a notary public should also be present to notarize the revocation statement.
Send a notice letter to the agent appointed in the power of attorney. The notice letter should be dated and include your name and address along with the name and address of the agent. In the letter, inform the agent that you are revoking her powers as agent, and ask her to return any documentation such as bank statements or tax returns. The letter is sent to the agent via certified mail with return receipt requested, or you can hand-deliver the letter and have the agent sign a statement verifying that they received it. A copy of the revocation statement should be included with the notice letter.
Notify financial institutions of the revocation of power of attorney. This letter would include your name and address, as well as the name and address of the institution in question. It is intended to notify them that you are revoking a power of attorney. Just as with the notice letter to the agent, you should send this notice via certified mail with return receipt or hand-deliver it and get a signed statement of receipt.
Revoking a Power of Attorney for Health Care
Destroy the original power of attorney. Burning or tearing up the power of attorney are both valid ways of destroying it.
Revoke the power of attorney in writing. In this instance you would follow similar steps as for a general or financial power of attorney.
Make an oral statement of revocation. This needs to be done in the presence of a witness who is at least 18 years of old. That witness must then put your revocation statement into writing.
Tips & Warnings
When revoking a basic power of attorney, you must send a separate notice letter to each financial institution that received a copy of the power of attorney.
If the need arises to revoke a power of attorney for health care after you are incapacitated, legal action may be required.
References & Resources
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