How To Take Power of Attorney Away From Someone

Updated August 2, 2023
15 min read
How To Take Power of Attorney Away From Someone

Introduction

The act of appointing a power of attorney (POA) is a significant and legally binding expression of trust between two or more individuals. An important situation arises when considering revoking a power of attorney if a person becomes physically or mentally incapacitated, as the person identified as power of attorney has the authority to make crucial medical and financial decisions on their behalf. You can explore this concept further in this revocation of power of attorney template.

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As long as one remains competent, their power of attorney legal documents can be amended. If you need legal assistance regarding this, or to revoke Power of Attorney, it may be helpful to seek a securities law attorney. Family members might challenge a power of attorney if they believe the trusted individual is abusing their power.

Who Can Override a Power of Attorney?

In the context of wishing to revoke Power of Attorney, it becomes essential to seek counsel from an attorney who specializes in elder law and disability law. They will guide you and act in your best interest when attempting to override the power of attorney document or revoke Power of Attorney.

Under U.S. law, specifically the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA) — adopted by numerous states — the principal, who issued the power of attorney, has the right to revoke Power of Attorney at any given time, provided they are mentally competent. 

If the principal becomes incapacitated and cannot revoke Power of Attorney, a third party with legitimate concerns about the agent's actions can appeal to the court for review of the power of attorney. If the court determines that the agent named in the power of attorney is not acting in the principal's best interests, the court itself can revoke Power of Attorney.

During this complicated legal process, when one aims to revoke Power of Attorney, having an attorney with expertise in elder law and disability law becomes an invaluable resource. This legal professional can offer meaningful guidance, represent your interests in court proceedings, and help to successfully revoke Power of Attorney.

Can You Remove Someone From the Power of Attorney?

Under U.S. law, particularly according to the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA) which has been adopted by many states, there are primarily three main ways to revoke Power of Attorney from someone, which will effectively remove them from their previously appointed role.

The first method to revoke Power of Attorney is through verbal communication. For instance, as long as the principal is mentally competent, they can communicate their decision to revoke Power of Attorney by verbal means. However, it’s important to note that this approach might not be legally binding in all jurisdictions.

The second way, and typically more definitive in terms of legal validity, is the written communication method to revoke Power of Attorney. The principal can draft a written document expressing their wish to revoke Power of Attorney and sign it, thereby providing a tangible piece of evidence of their decision.

Lastly, one can use a notary form to revoke Power of Attorney. A revocation document filled out and signed in front of a notary public provides an additional layer of legal validation to the principal's decision to revoke Power of Attorney. This method proves useful especially when the need arises for an official third-party validation of the principal's mental capacity at the time of revocation.

Can a Family Member Override a Power of Attorney?

According to U.S. law, specifically the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA) adopted by several states, family members are not typically authorized to directly revoke a Power of Attorney. This decision rests solely with the principal who initially authorized the Power of Attorney, should they wish to revoke Power of Attorney.

Even so, this doesn't exclude family members from any legal recourse. In situations where the family members suspect abuse or misuse of the authority granted by the Power of Attorney, they might opt to file a claim with the court. Their concern could prompt the court to review and potentially revoke Power of Attorney.

The court's intervention may, in several cases under U.S. law, result in a decision to revoke Power of Attorney if it deems the current arrangement to not be in the principal's best interest. Despite the family members' inability to directly revoke Power of Attorney, this legal pathway offers them the chance to influence change if necessary.

How to Challenge a Power of Attorney?

When there are concerns regarding a Power of Attorney, steps can be taken to challenge it. According to U.S law, anyone with legitimate concerns about the actions or decisions being made by someone holding a Power of Attorney on someone else's behalf can challenge it. They may wish to revoke Power of Attorney, and initiate the process to do so.

If they decide to challenge or revoke Power of Attorney, this typically involves court proceedings. Under the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA), which has been adopted by several states, a court can be petitioned to review and potentially revoke Power of Attorney if the agent is not acting in the best interest of the principal.

The decision to challenge and potentially revoke Power of Attorney is a serious one and should be handled with care. To navigate through this complex legal process, it would be prudent to enlist the help of a lawyer. Not only can they provide guidance, but they can also advocate on behalf of the person wishing to revoke Power of Attorney, making this intricate legal process easier to manage.

Conclusion

Ensuring trust between two people is extremely important for assigning power of attorney. The methods to revoke Power of Attorney are clearly outlined in many business and contracts templates available online. Revoking a Power of Attorney is considered relatively simple as long as the principal remains mentally competent.

Article by
Inna Chumachenko
Lawrina

Inna Chumachenko is the Content Lead at Lawrina. She is responsible for managing all the content found on the blog, guides, and other website pages. Inna has a degree in philology and a vast interest in law. In her role at Lawrina, Inna oversees the content team, establishes collaborations with writers, and curates content from various contributors.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the content for Lawrina, please feel free to contact Inna directly via email at i.chumachenko@lawrina.org or connect with her on LinkedIn.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if there is a dispute about the principal's mental capacity to revoke Power of Attorney?

If there is a dispute about the principal's mental capacity to revoke Power of Attorney in U.S law, it typically requires a court ruling. According to the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA), adopted by several states, the court can be petitioned to determine the principal's mental capacity. If the court determines that the principal is mentally incapacitated and unable to make rational decisions, the revocation may not be legally recognized.

Is the process to revoke Power of Attorney different based on the type of Power of Attorney initially granted?

The process to revoke Power of Attorney does vary based on the type of Power of Attorney initially granted under U.S. law. For instance, a durable Power of Attorney, which remains in effect even if the principal becomes mentally incapacitated, is more difficult to revoke than a non-durable one. It often involves going to court, especially if the principal is incapacitated.

Can a Power of Attorney be temporarily revoked?

Yes, a Power of Attorney can be temporarily revoked. In U.S. law, a principal can revoke Power of Attorney and then re-instate the same person or a different one at a later date. However, the temporary revocation should be made clear in writing to all relevant parties to avoid confusion or legal complications.