A power of attorney revocation form is a document used for officially terminating an active power of attorney. It is completed and signed by a principal when they wish to revoke an agent’s power due to a completed task, a change in agents, or due to the agent conducting their duties improperly.
Common reasons for revoking a POA:
- Death/incapacity of the agent;
- Need to alter terms in existing POA;
- Loss of trust;
- Agent not available/too occupied; and/or
- Change in relationship to the attorney-in-fact.
A POA can only be revoked by the principal if they are of sound mind (aka not “mentally incompetent”). Those looking to end an active POA can go about it by:
- Destroying all existing copies of the POA, and/or
- Completing and issuing a revocation of POA form.
The principal will need to download and save the document to their computer. From there, the form can be completed using Adobe Acrobat Reader (choose “Adobe PDF”) or by using Microsoft Word (choose “MS Word”).
Not including signatures, the principal will need to enter:
- State and country in which the POA is in effect;
- Their name and address (street, city, and state);
- The date they are officially revoking the POA; and
- The name(s) of the attorney-in-fact (and successor attorney-in-fact, if any).
Regardless if it is required by state law or not, the principal should have their revocation notarized. Additionally, taking the next step and having the principal’s signature witnessed by two (2) adults is also highly recommended, and proves that the document is indeed legitimate. If the principal is worried that the agent might be reluctant to relinquish their power, they should take every step available to prove they signed the form willingly and in good mental health.
- Notarization (mandatory) – notaries are official entities that can be found in post offices, banks, UPS stores, and online through Notarize.com.
- Witnesses (optional) – if used, witnesses need to be physically present when the principal signs the document. So long they are present, the form can be printed and signed by hand, or eSigned.
If the POA being revoked was originally recorded in the office of the county recorder, the revocation should also be recorded to ensure the original POA is deemed ineffective.
Inform the agent – The most important step the principal has to take is to inform the attorney-in-fact (agent) of the revocation with the form. To avoid the agent stating they “never received the form”, the principal should have it delivered via certified mail.
Deliver to 3rd parties – The principal will need to identify all individuals and entities that ever received a copy of the POA. It is extremely important every entity receives a copy of the revocation. For example, if a financial institution had an active POA on file, the agent could fraudulently withdraw funds from the principal’s account, as the financial institution would have no reason to believe the POA was deemed invalid. Examples include:
- Insurance offices
- Banks/credit unions
- Financial advisors
- Business partners
- Close friends
- Post offices
Destroy any remaining copies – any copies that were collected from 3rd parties, or those that were never sent should be destroyed by means of shredding or another comparable option.
There are only two (2) entities that can revoke a POA. They are:
- The principal (the person that originally completes the POA); OR
- An individual appointed by a court to act on behalf of the principal.
Any. So long the principal isn’t incapacitated and can make reasonable decisions on their own, they can revoke any outstanding and active POAs. This includes durable and non-durable power of attorney forms.
Yes, in some states all the principal needs to do is enact another power of attorney. However, it is universally recommended that the principal completes and distributes a revocation form in addition to completing the new POA.