How Do You Revoke Power of Attorney?
Establishing power of attorney is important. You never know when you may become incapacitated due to an injury or a disease. When this happens, you want to retain as much control over your life as possible, but there will always be something a living will can’t account for. For these times, you give an agent the ability to make medical and/or financial for you and your estate through a power of attorney.
Typically, you give your power of attorney to someone you trust, but sometimes you may find out things about your current agent that make you second guess your trust in them. What do you do when you need to revoke power of attorney from someone? Sending them a written notice is a good place to start, but that is not enough to make sure you have safely taken and transferred your power of attorney before it’s too late.
Why Revoke Power of Attorney?
There are several reasons to revoke a power of attorney from someone. Committing a crime or being incapacitated themselves are reasons to quickly revoke your power of attorney, or potentially create a backup. Some less obvious reasons have to do directly with a person’s beliefs or vices in relation to what kind of power of attorney they have from you.
We like to believe we know our friends and family better than most, but being bad with money, budgeting, or gambling are things a person can keep private. Should you ever find out your financial power of attorney has such problems, you want to revoke your power of attorney from them. At the same time, concern for how they would handle your medical power of attorney wouldn’t be as great in this situation. Issues with money don’t have much relation with their ability to follow your medical preferences.
You should worry about your medical power of attorney if you find out the person you’ve chosen doesn’t share your same values and/or beliefs in medicine. If you do or don’t believe in a certain medical procedure, treatment, or practice, you need to take back control. You don’t want anyone allowing or encouraging your doctor to perform surgery on you because they want it for you.
How Do You Begin the Process?
To revoke power of attorney, you need to do more than send a written notice to your agent. You need to inform everyone who your agent would normally access for your financial or medical decisions. This includes individuals such as:
- Medical professionals
- Non-agent attorneys
Without proper notification, none of these professionals have any reason or much legal power to disobey your ex-agent. You need to inform all of them in a way where they can keep a written record of it. You don’t have to have a new agent immediately, but choosing a new one soon is recommended.
Changing Your Power of Attorney
Then, you need to see your non-agent attorneys about choosing a new power of attorney. Even with written notice, expecting professionals with dozens, if not hundreds of clients, patients, and customers to remember your wishes in an emergency is unrealistic. When you’re in the middle of an emergency, and your doctors need to know what to do, they’re not always going to be able to reference a file.
It’s best to think of and ask someone else to be your new agent so that when you make a change, you’re not going without. You need a new agent who you can rely on. They have to be someone a hospital or bank can reach to ask for quick approval before they go back to the agent you revoked power from.
What Happens if You Don’t Have a Designated Person Selected?
If you don’t have a power of attorney and have never had one when you become incapacitated, there’s no guarantee who will be making decisions for you, even in Pennsylvania. The only exception would be if you are married. Then your spouse would most likely become your de facto power of attorney.
After that, it can be difficult to choose between parents, siblings, and adult children. It can become chaos and whatever financial or medical decisions need to be made will be held up. This fighting and chaos can keep you from getting the money or treatment you need while incapacitated. This can lead to the deterioration of your estate, or worse, your health.
Contact the Estate Planning Attorneys at MVSK Law
Our estate planning attorneys can make sure you have an agent you can trust to handle your affairs if you are unable to. If you need to make changes, you can contact our law firm at any time to schedule an appointment. We want you to have plans for the possibility that you can’t make decisions for yourself. Even if you are incapacitated you deserve as much control over yourself and your estate as you can have. For help or more information, contact Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam today.