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Thread: If someone has granted you Power of Attorney, can it be revoked?

  1. #1
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    If someone has granted you Power of Attorney, can it be revoked?

    Due to some very complicated reasons, including his own precariouis health, my brother is no longer willing to act as Power of Attorney for a family member. That family member is not willing to revoke the POA. Is there a way for the agent to revoke it, short of hiring an attorney? I've been googling it, but haven't found anything other than the grantor being able to revoke.
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  2. #2
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    Most POAs do not *require* the attorney-in-fact to assume any responsibilities on behalf of the principal, they simply authorize him to do so. Generally, there is nothing in the POA that can be used to force the POA to take action under the POA. Of course, your brother will want to carefully review the terms of the POA carefully to ensure that the POA he holds does not differ, and IMO it would be advisable to also send a letter notifying the principal that he declines to exercise any further responsiblities under the POA.
    Claire

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  3. #3
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    POA is easily revoked as long as the giver is competent at the time of revocation. Does he have a durable poa or a simple poa? Durable gives you the right to act on a persons behalf if they are unable to act for themselves. We have gone through this process many times with an aunt who had mental illness issues.

    In order to revoke a durable power of attorney, you simply write or type a statement which includes the following

    Name and date
    You are of sound mind
    You wish to revoke the durable power of attorney
    Specify the date the original durable power of attorney was executed
    Specify the person or persons named as your agents
    Your signature
    Distribute copies of that statement to your agent and to any institutions and agencies, such as banks and hospitals, that had notice of your power of attorney. After you revoke the durable power of attorney, you can 1) execute a new durable power of attorney naming someone else as your agent to handle your affairs; or 2) handle your affairs on your own.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cminmd View Post
    POA is easily revoked as long as the giver is competent at the time of revocation. Does he have a durable poa or a simple poa? Durable gives you the right to act on a persons behalf if they are unable to act for themselves. We have gone through this process many times with an aunt who had mental illness issues.

    In order to revoke a durable power of attorney, you simply write or type a statement which includes the following

    Name and date
    You are of sound mind
    You wish to revoke the durable power of attorney
    Specify the date the original durable power of attorney was executed
    Specify the person or persons named as your agents
    Your signature
    Distribute copies of that statement to your agent and to any institutions and agencies, such as banks and hospitals, that had notice of your power of attorney. After you revoke the durable power of attorney, you can 1) execute a new durable power of attorney naming someone else as your agent to handle your affairs; or 2) handle your affairs on your own.
    I think the OP meant that the person holding the POA did not wish to have that responsibility. The grantor still wants him to be his POA, but the brother does not wish to act on behalf of the grantor any longer.
    Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BucknellAlum View Post
    I think the OP meant that the person holding the POA did not wish to have that responsibility. The grantor still wants him to be his POA, but the brother does not wish to act on behalf of the grantor any longer.
    This was my understanding as well. Quite frankly, I cannot see why some would refuse to revoke a POA. Essentially you are just leaving yourself without a POA at all, and it would be much better to name a new attorney in fact who is currently able to handle the responsibilities.
    Claire

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  6. #6
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    Claire, we both share your opinion of how ridiculous it is that this person won't revoke. However, this is a master manipulator who likes to bully and coerce others that we are dealing with. This person is nearing the end of their life, and the end will come at just the time my brother will be at his weakest due to his own chemo. I think it adds an extra measure of gratification for the person knowing that my brother's character and need to stand by his word and step up to the plate will cause him to compromise his own health and treatment when the responsibility is "officially" on him. It's ridiculous.
    Okay...it's time to pull up your big-girl panties and get on with it. (Seen on a bathroom wall.)

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookin4Love View Post
    Claire, we both share your opinion of how ridiculous it is that this person won't revoke. However, this is a master manipulator who likes to bully and coerce others that we are dealing with. This person is nearing the end of their life, and the end will come at just the time my brother will be at his weakest due to his own chemo. I think it adds an extra measure of gratification for the person knowing that my brother's character and need to stand by his word and step up to the plate will cause him to compromise his own health and treatment when the responsibility is "officially" on him. It's ridiculous.
    Oy, what a situation. This may not be the most appropriate way to handle it but I'd just tell the person to do what they will, I will not be handling anything for them. My family has dealt with a master manipulator through the death of my cousin and it's been extremely painful at times and it took my aunt a year + to really see what the manipulator was doing to her. I swear if I saw the woman on the street it would be all I could do not to punch her. Sorry, mini hijack there. Anyhow, I hope that whether or not this person decides to "release" the POA your brother finds it in himself that this is one time that he is far more important than someone else.


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  8. #8
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    Your brother's character and need to stand by his word don't mean he has to endanger his own health by acquiescing to the dead hand of a capricious and manipulative relative.

    I would send said relative a certified letter, stating "Because of my own health issues, I am unable to and will not serve as your attorney in fact under your POA. I strongly suggest you execute a new POA naming someone else. If you do not, be advised that I will decline to act on your behalf when the POA becomes active, effectively leaving you with no POA at all."

    That way, he's discharged his obligation and made his position clear. What your relative does is then entirely up to him/her and your brother should feel no obligation--legal or moral or anything else--to act as agent and can refuse with a clear conscience.
    "Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
    Use an egg carton like everyone else and stop being such a poser." - The Little Book of Wrong Shui

  9. #9
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    As your brother is sick, does anyone have POA over him? If you do, can you exercise your POA to safeguard him from having to use his POA over the bad guy? After all, someone has to watch over your brother's well being and interests too..

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh37 View Post
    Your brother's character and need to stand by his word don't mean he has to endanger his own health by acquiescing to the dead hand of a capricious and manipulative relative.

    I would send said relative a certified letter, stating "Because of my own health issues, I am unable to and will not serve as your attorney in fact under your POA. I strongly suggest you execute a new POA naming someone else. If you do not, be advised that I will decline to act on your behalf when the POA becomes active, effectively leaving you with no POA at all."

    That way, he's discharged his obligation and made his position clear. What your relative does is then entirely up to him/her and your brother should feel no obligation--legal or moral or anything else--to act as agent and can refuse with a clear conscience.
    I agree with this 100% - and DEFINITELY a certified letter. It's not just to inform the relative of the change, but also have proof that they were informed of it.

    I'm not sure if you can be held legally liable if you have POA and don't act when needed, but if so, that's why I'd send the letter.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shugness View Post
    I'm not sure if you can be held legally liable if you have POA and don't act when needed, but if so, that's why I'd send the letter.

    I'm pretty sure you cannot be held liable or forced to act as POA--as someone said upthread, it's for the protection of the grantor, so someone CAN act on their behalf, but no one can be forced to. I'd do certified a) to underscore to the grantor the seriousness and finality of this decision and b) if this relative is really manipulative, you may later want/need to be able to prove to other family members that you did indeed notify the grantor that you were going to decline.
    "Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
    Use an egg carton like everyone else and stop being such a poser." - The Little Book of Wrong Shui

  12. #12
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    The person granting the power of attorney should have been advised to have at least one additional named person so that if the first person declined or could not accept the POA, there would be a second named person who would be empowered. If there is no such provision, the simplest thing might be to make a formal renunciation of the POA and notify the grantor that he is unable and unwilling to accept the authority.

    I know your brother is in Texas, but is the person granting the POA also in Texas? Presumably, the state the person granting the POA is in would have the governing law, but anywhere I know of, a POA is merely a grant of authority to act that avoids the necessity of getting a court order authorizing someone to act on the person's behalf.

    I don't now if the person with the POA can, under that POA, then grant that authority to a third person who is in a better situation to take action. If the POA prohibits it, then no, but if it is silent, it would be a matter of whether there is any state law governing the issue. If you cannot appoint a successor attorney in fact, then you would have to get a court order approving one -- the very thing the POA should have prevented in the first place.

    The other person can only exercise power over your brother if he lets it happen. He cannot be forced to take action, especially if his health reasonably prevents it. In fact, other family members or heirs could challenge his authority if they feel he is too sick to act competently. Why ask for that headache? I'd help him take a pass, one way or another.

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