How Do You Change a Power of Attorney?
To change a power of attorney, you usually follow five main steps.
1. Notify the person currently holding power of attorney
If you want to change things, tell your current power of attorney right away. It’s important, especially if you’re giving them less power or taking it away. You want them to stop or be ready for the changes.
This way, you can discuss what you need and adjust the changes to fit you better.
2. Put the Change in Writing
If you want to change or cancel a power of attorney, you need to write it down.
You can use a form or make a simple letter. Just be clear about what changes you’re making.
Even if you give someone new power, make sure to cancel any old ones to avoid confusion.
3. Include All Required Language
Using a form can be helpful. Different states have rules about what details should be in a change or cancellation.
Usually, it includes names (yours and your power of attorney‘s), the date of the change, and sometimes the date when the old power of attorney started.
If you’re not sure about your state’s rules, you can also do a general cancellation.
Just say your name, the other person’s name, the date you’re canceling, and that you’re canceling all the power of attorney you gave before.
For example, “Starting July 1, I, Michael Smith, cancel all the power of attorney I gave to Jane Doe.
4. Notarize and If Necessary Record
Usually, it’s a good idea to get your document notarized, and there might be a small cost. This is especially important if you’re making changes.
To change your power of attorney, you need to have the paper notarized, just like when you first gave someone power of attorney.
Some places need notarization to cancel power of attorney, but it’s a good idea even if not required.
While there are steps to give away this power, the state wants to make it easy for you to take it back.
It’s important to fill out and notarize the form correctly, but sending an initial email usually has legal weight.
If you registered power of attorney with a local office, you must also register the document for changes or cancellations.
5. Notify All Concerned Parties
As the final step, inform people who should know about your power of attorney.
Talk to those who usually deal with it or need to know about the changes. It’s not required by law, but it can save time and avoid confusion later.
The Bottom Line
Changing or ending a power of attorney is a simple but important part of planning your estate.
You just need to let the person know in writing, maybe with a notary, that their authority has changed or stopped.
You don’t have to use special forms, but they can be helpful.