Once you create your estate plan, that does not mean that you simply put it away and never revisit it. Just as your life will change, your estate plan might need to change as well. After you complete your estate plan, you might need to review it after major life changes and make modifications to it. You can also create a new will and trash the old one. The same is true for living trusts, living wills, and powers of attorney. Here are a few reasons that Elder Care Direction has identified for why you might want to revoke your power of attorney.
What is a power of attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document through which you can grant someone else the authority to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for yourself. There are two types of powers of attorney, including durable financial powers of attorney and durable medical powers of attorney.
A durable financial power of attorney will allow your attorney-in-fact to conduct business for you. Your attorney-in-fact may be able to pay your bills, access your accounts, and complete other financial tasks on your behalf. You determine how much or how little authority your attorney-in-fact will have.
A durable medical power of attorney allows your attorney-in-fact to make medical decisions for you when you cannot make them yourself. Like a durable financial power of attorney, you can decide how much or how little authority that your attorney-in-fact will have. Both types of powers of attorney only come into effect if you are incapacitated and are no longer able to make decisions for yourself.
Reasons to revoke a power of attorney
There are two primary reasons that might prompt you to revoke the power of attorney that you have drafted. If you have an issue with your appointed attorney-in-fact, you will want to revoke your power of attorney. You might also want to revoke your power-of-attorney if you want to change the decisions that your attorney-in-fact will be allowed to make.
Some of the issues that might arise with your attorney-in-fact include having a personal falling out such as divorce. You might not feel comfortable any longer allowing this person to make decisions for you. Your attorney-in-fact could also pass away or tell you that he or she no longer wants to perform the duties that you have outlined in your power of attorney document.
If you are no longer comfortable with your attorney-in-fact, it can be a good idea for you to revoke your power of attorney. You should keep in mind that you are able to include an alternate to serve as your attorney-in-fact in your original document. This can be helpful if your original attorney-in-fact has passed away so that you will not have to create a new document.
Another situation that might prompt you to revoke a power of attorney is when you feel that it is overly broad or too narrow. If your wishes have changed, you will want to create a new document to reflect them.
How to revoke a power of attorney
It is not hard to revoke a power of attorney. You can start by completing a document called revocation of a power of attorney. Once you have completed it, distribute it to your estate planning lawyer, your attorney-in-fact, and any other parties who may be interested. Make sure that your original attorney-in-fact receives a copy of the revocation so that he or she understands that the original document is no longer valid.
After you have revoked your old power of attorney, you will want to create a new document that reflects the changes that you want. If you do not create a new form, you will be responsible for managing your own finances and medical decisions without the help of an attorney-in-fact.
Learn more with Elder Care Direction
To learn more about estate planning and durable powers of attorney, contact Elder Care Direction today. We can help you to understand these documents and to cut down on the expense of your paperwork. We can also refer you to one of our partner attorneys for further legal assistance. Contact us today by completing our online contact form.