How to Revoke a Power of Attorney in California

How to Revoke a Power of Attorney in California

A power of attorney is a legal document that grants someone the authority to act on your behalf, making important decisions and managing your affairs. However, circumstances may arise where you no longer wish to grant this authority to the appointed person. In such cases, it is crucial to know how to properly revoke a power of attorney in California. This article will guide you through the process and answer some frequently asked questions.

Revoking a Power of Attorney in California

1. Determine the type of power of attorney: California recognizes two types of power of attorney – durable and non-durable. A durable power of attorney remains in effect even if you become incapacitated, while a non-durable power of attorney is terminated upon incapacitation. The revocation process differs slightly depending on the type.

2. Prepare a revocation document: To revoke a power of attorney, you must create a written document expressing your intention to rescind the authority granted. Include your full name, the date of the original power of attorney, and the name of the person appointed as your agent. Clearly state that you are revoking the power of attorney and sign and date the document.

3. Serve notice to the agent: Once you have prepared the revocation document, it is crucial to serve notice to the agent. This can be done through certified mail with return receipt requested or by personal delivery with evidence of receipt. Keep copies of all communication for your records.

4. Inform relevant parties: Notify any relevant individuals or institutions that were provided with a copy of the original power of attorney. These may include banks, financial institutions, healthcare providers, or government agencies. Provide them with a copy of the revocation document and ensure they update their records accordingly.

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5. Record the revocation document: While not required, it is advisable to record the revocation document with the County Recorder’s Office in the county where the original power of attorney was filed. This step ensures the revocation is on public record and provides additional protection against unauthorized actions by the agent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I revoke a power of attorney at any time?

A: Yes, you have the right to revoke a power of attorney at any time, provided you are of sound mind and capable of making decisions.

Q: Can I orally revoke a power of attorney?

A: While oral revocations may be valid in some states, California law requires revocations to be in writing.

Q: Can I revoke a power of attorney if I am incapacitated?

A: If you have a durable power of attorney, it remains valid even if you become incapacitated. To revoke it, you must be deemed mentally competent and capable of understanding the consequences of revocation.

Q: What if the agent refuses to accept the revocation?

A: The agent’s refusal does not invalidate the revocation. As long as you have followed the proper revocation process and served notice to the agent, the power of attorney is considered revoked.

Q: Can I create a new power of attorney after revoking the previous one?

A: Yes, you can create a new power of attorney at any time. Ensure the previous power of attorney has been properly revoked to avoid any conflicts or confusion.

Q: Can I use a power of attorney revocation form I found online?

A: While there are numerous templates available online, it is recommended to consult with an attorney to ensure the revocation document complies with California law and meets your specific needs.

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Revoking a power of attorney in California requires careful consideration and adherence to proper legal procedures. By following the steps outlined above, you can effectively revoke a power of attorney and regain control over your affairs. If you have any doubts or concerns, consult with an attorney experienced in estate planning to guide you through the process.