How to Cancel a Power of Attorney

By Jennifer Kiesewetter, J.D.

How to Cancel a Power of Attorney

By Jennifer Kiesewetter, J.D.

A power of attorney is a legal document that appoints a person, known as an agent, to have rights to make legal and/or financial decisions on your behalf. If you're mentally competent and no longer wish to have someone appointed as your power of attorney, you can cancel it by submitting a formal revocation form, as well as notifying the individual and other relevant third parties, in writing.

Young woman and elderly man looking at a tablet together

You may want to cancel your power of attorney for several reasons. Your current situation may have changed, thus requiring you to appoint a new one. You may want to appoint someone who is more suitable to your needs. Or you might have lost trust in the individual you initially chose. Whatever the reason for the cancellation, you should follow these steps when canceling your power of attorney.

Revoke Your Current Power of Attorney

To change or cancel your current power of attorney, you should complete a formal, written revocation. Your revocation should state that you're withdrawing your current power of attorney. Additionally, you should sign and notarize your cancellation.

Once you complete the revocation, you should destroy or attach a copy of the revocation to all copies of your current power of attorney. In canceling your power of attorney, you should confirm that no one can use your revoked power of attorney.

Notify Your Power of Attorney

Once you complete your revocation, notify your agent of the cancellation in writing. Through this notification, you should send a copy of the revocation attached to a power of attorney to your agent. Additionally, you should follow up with a formal letter revoking your agent's authority to act on your behalf. Finally, request any copies of the power of attorney to be returned to you. Be sure that they understand and are fully aware that they will no longer be responsible for your legal and/or financial matters.

Notify Relevant Third Parties

In addition to notifying your agent about the revocation, you also should inform any relevant third parties about the cancellation of a power of attorney. Contact any financial institutions, real estate agents, investment advisers, health care professionals, or other relevant parties. Finally, you should request that any third parties return or destroy the power of attorney, with proof of such destruction.

Execute a New Power of Attorney

If you need to execute a new power of attorney, then proceed with naming an appropriate agent to act on your behalf regarding medical or financial matters. By confirming that you have destroyed all previous copies of your canceled power of attorney, you can eliminate any confusion.

You may have questions about canceling a power of attorney based on your circumstances. If you do, you should consult with an attorney or use an online service provider for assistance or guidance. By seeking legal advice, you can assure yourself that you've correctly canceled your power of attorney.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney?

Get started now