How to Revoke a Durable Power of Attorney
The durable power of attorney is one of the most useful and important documents in planning your estate. As such, it is important that you execute the instrument wisely, considering what circumstances you would want the powers to be invoked and who your agent should be. At times it becomes necessary to revoke a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA), however. An estate planning lawyer in Bryan can help you through this procedure, but the following provides an overview of the process.
Understanding the Use of a Durable Power of Attorney
The DPOA is an instrument which names an agent, or attorney-in-fact, to make decisions on your behalf in certain situations, usually when you become incapacitated. The term “attorney-in-fact” can be misleading, for the agent does not have to be a lawyer. Rather, the agent should be someone you know well and can trust implicitly to render appropriate decisions on your behalf.
When the DPOA becomes effective the agent is given powers as designated by the instructions. Often this means the power to make decisions about your care and access to your bank accounts. The DPOA stays in effect until either you die or revoke it. Sometimes the instructions name a time at which the instrument will become void as well.
Revoking the Durable Power of Attorney
A situation may arise where you need to revoke the durable power of attorney. Generally this occurs when the named agent falls out of favor for some reason. Perhaps he has acted dishonorably, or has become estranged, such as a son-in-law who divorces your daughter.
The Texas Probate Code, § 488 establishes the right to revoke the DPOA. However, it does not specify precisely how this is to be done. How you should proceed depends on whether the instrument has been filed with the court. If it has not been, and the agent does not have a copy, simply destroying the document should suffice.
More often, however, the DPOA has been filed with the court, and copies given to the agent as well as relevant financial institutions. Your estate planning lawyer in Bryan will need to file a revocation with the court, and inform your financial institutions in writing that the DPOA is no longer in effect. You also need to request the agent to return his/her copy. The revocation document, itself, needs to include the following:
- A statement that you are of sound mind and are revoking the DPOA
- Indication that the agent no longer has durable powers of attorney
- A copy of the original DPOA
- The date that the DPOA was executed
For Assistance with Revoking or Setting up a Durable Power of Attorney
If you would like to create a durable power of attorney, or need to revoke and existing one, work with an estate planning lawyer in Bryan that has dedicated a portion of its practice to estates, wills, and probate. Call Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014.