Revoking A Power Of Attorney: Everything You Need To Know
When you give someone Power of Attorney, you are giving them a lot of control over your life and your future. It’s not uncommon for people to change their minds. That’s when revoking a Power of Attorney comes in.
This is actually easier to do than you might expect. The only important factor is that you must have “mental capacity” – awareness of what your decision will actually mean – before you can do it.
Other than that, there are a few more things to be aware of:
What Is A Power Of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives one person (the attorney) the right to make important life decisions on behalf of someone else (the donor).
You can give more than one person your Power of Attorney. Many people do this in case one attorney has an accident or cannot discharge their duties when the time comes.
There are several different types of Power of Attorney:
- Ordinary Power of Attorney – is usually a temporary power that lasts while a donor is not in the country or has an illness or injury from which they’re expected to soon recover.
- Lasting Power of Attorney – a lasting power of attorney is a power that is set up in advance, designed to come into effect when a donor loses mental capacity at some point in the future. This may be due to old age, dementia, or another illness.
Why Would You Revoke A Power Of Attorney?
Depending on the exact terms of the document you’ve had your solicitor draw up, someone with your Power of Attorney is able to make major decisions on your behalf.
Lasting Power of Attorney in particular comes in two different types. One of these gives your attorney the ability to decide the kind of medical care you receive and even where you live, who you see, and what you eat.
This makes choosing the person or people who will be your attorneys vital. They need to be people you trust implicitly, meaning close family members and partners are among the most common choices.
Revoking Power of Attorney only usually happens in circumstances when:
- Trust is lost for some reason, perhaps divorce or unexpected disagreement
- Someone more suitable becomes available
- You have regained the ability to make decisions on your own behalf
- It’s no longer easy for your attorney to act for you (perhaps they move to a different country)
How To Take Power Of Attorney Away From Someone
You can cancel an Ordinary Power of Attorney or a Lasting Power of Attorney at any time.
It’s not quite as easy as simply verbally telling someone that they are no longer your attorney. However, the process is still relatively straightforward:
- Mental capacity – you must have mental capacity (the ability to make and understand decisions you have made) before you can make changes to a Power of Attorney.
- Deed of Revocation – a Deed of Revocation is a written statement of your desire to remove an attorney that follows a set formula. It needs to be signed by the person who granted the Power of Attorney in the first place. Your attorney also needs to be notified.
- Contact the OPG – the Office of the Public Guardian will need a copy of your Deed of Revocation and your original Power of Attorney document.
When you want to cancel an Ordinary Power of Attorney, this is usually pretty easy. Problems can arise with Lasting Powers of Attorney though.
This is because a Lasting Power is designed to come into effect when a donor has lost mental capacity. In order to make changes to a Power of Attorney, the donor must prove they have regained it.
Can I Cancel Just One Power Of Attorney?
Yes. A Deed of Partial Revocation is a document that can be
The process is the same as that outlined above. The only difference is that the Partial Deed of Revocation has a slightly different official format.
How Long Does It Take To Cancel A Power Of Attorney?
After sending all of the relevant information and documents to the Office of the Public Guardian you should receive notification of the court’s decision within 16 weeks.
When Can You Revoke A Power Of Attorney?
There are no time restrictions on when you can cancel or revoke Power of Attorney documents. The only limiting factor is that you must show that you have what’s called the “mental capacity” to make the choice.
This is normally defined as the ability to understand information about the choice, what the outcome will mean, and being able to remember it all long enough to make the decision.
Need impartial expertise to advise you on how to revoke or change a Power of Attorney?
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