A power of attorney is a useful tool for making sure your financial affairs are managed effectively by a person you trust, known as your agent. However, circumstances and relationships change, and there may come a time when the power of attorney you created no longer serves your interests. It is a relatively straightforward procedure to revoke a power of attorney and to create a new one. The hardest part for most people is remembering to do it, which is why you should review all your estate planning documents, including powers of attorney, every year.
There are numerous reasons why you might want to terminate a power of attorney. Some of the most common reasons include:
Relationship changes — You may have given power of attorney to a spouse but now you’re getting divorced. Or your agent may be someone with whom you no longer get along. If you don’t trust your agent to act in your best interest, it’s time to make a change.
Relocation — It’s often important for you and your agent to live relatively close by, so the agent can be available to handle your business as needed. If you or your agent have relocated over a considerable distance, you might want to cancel your power of attorney and create a new one designating a new agent.
Agent incapacity or death — Your agent needs to have sufficient mental capacity to manage your finances. Dementia, substance abuse and various mental or physical health conditions can affect that capacity. You should revoke the power of attorney if you feel your agent can no longer fulfill their duties. Death of the agent is also reason to revoke the power.
Any other reason — The law does not require you to demonstrate good reason to revoke a power of attorney. You can do it simply because you changed your mind.
Send a copy of the revocation to the agent whose power is being terminated, along with a letter explaining that they are no longer authorized to do anything in your name.
Send a copy of the revocation to all banks and other financial institutions who were given copies of the power of attorney.
Bear in mind that any person or entity to whom you gave a copy of the original power of attorney will likely keep relying on it until they receive notice of the revocation. This can lead to legal disputes.
At Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C., we provide comprehensive estate planning services and can assist you with revoking a power of attorney and creating a new one. To speak with an attorney from our Hamden or East Haven offices, call 203-745-0942 or contact us online anytime.
Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. is located in Hamden, CT and serves clients in and around North Haven, Hamden, Waterbury, Bethany, Milford, Wallingford, Prospect, Woodbridge, Northford, Madison, Beacon Falls, Branford, Cheshire, North Branford, East Haven, Naugatuck, Meriden, Ansonia and New Haven County.
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