Revoking Power of Attorney - A Simple Guide
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows an individual (the principal) to grant someone else (the attorney or agent) the authority to make legal and financial decisions and act on their behalf. However, circumstances may change, and there might come a time when you need to revoke or cancel the Power of Attorney you have appointed. In Australia, the process for revoking a Power of Attorney involves specific steps and considerations. Read on to find out more.
In Australia, there are several different types of Power of Attorney, including:
General Power of Attorney – This grants limited authority and is typically used for specific purposes, such as financial transactions.
Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) – This grants broad authority and can continue even if the principal becomes mentally incapacitated. This is often used for long-term decision-making, especially for healthcare.
Medical Power of Attorney (Advance Healthcare Directive) – This allows someone to make medical decisions on your behalf when you can’t. It is not typically revoked but can be superseded by another Advance Healthcare Directive.
Understanding the type of Power of Attorney you have is crucial, as the revocation process may vary.
Check the Terms of the Power of Attorney Document
Review your Power of Attorney document to understand any specific conditions or clauses. If you aren’t sure about any of the terminology then you should consult a legal professional. The document might specify how the Power of Attorney can be revoked, but if there are no specific instructions, you can generally revoke it at any time. You just need to formally advise your attorney and collect and destroy the original documents. However, you must have capacity to do this, meaning you must be able to make your own decisions.
Prepare a Revocation Document
To formally revoke a Power of Attorney, you’ll need to prepare a revocation form. This document should include the following information:
- Your name and contact details
- The name and contact details of the attorney you appointed
- A clear statement that you are revoking the Power of Attorney
- The date of revocation
It’s advisable to seek legal advice to ensure your revocation document complies with Australian laws and requirements. The form should also be certified, which means it must be signed and stamped by someone who is legally allowed to do this, such as a JP or police officer.
Notify Relevant Parties
Inform all relevant parties about the revocation, including the attorney, financial institutions, healthcare providers, and any other entities that were aware of the Power of Attorney. Provide them with a certified copy of the revocation document.
Communicate with the Attorney
Have a direct conversation with the attorney you appointed to explain your decision to revoke their authority. This can help avoid any confusion or misunderstandings.
Update Records and Documents
Review and update any documents or records where your attorney’s authority was previously recognised. This may include bank accounts, property titles, or healthcare directives. Ensure that your revocation is properly reflected in these documents.
Seek Legal Advice
If you encounter any challenges or difficulties during the revocation process, it’s advisable to seek legal advice. A solicitor can guide you through the process, especially if there are complex legal or financial issues involved.
Consider a New Power of Attorney
If you still require assistance with decision-making or wish to appoint a different attorney, you can consider creating a new Power of Attorney document after the revocation process is complete.
Revoking a Power of Attorney is a formal legal process, and as such it should be approached with the right care and attention to detail. It’s essential to seek professional legal advice to ensure that the revocation is legally recognised and properly executed. If you are looking for an experienced power of attorney lawyer, Melbourne’s Robert Wood and Associates is here to help. As the legal experts Melbourne families rely on, we can help with all the assistance you need relating to wills, probate, estate planning, and Power of Attorney. Contact us online now or call 03 9762 3877 today.
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