How to Change Power of Attorney: A Guide

Power of Attorney is an important legal tool for planning, like for managing your health or money.

You can change or cancel it whenever you want, and it’s easy to do.

Remember, this is just general info, so talk to a lawyer for advice based on your state’s laws.

It might be helpful to work with a financial advisor when planning your estate.

How to Change Power of Attorney
How to Change Power of Attorney. Photo Source (Freepik)

What is Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that says someone can act for you.

The person giving power is the principal, and the one getting it is the agent.

You decide what things the agent can do, like making choices about your health or money.

For example, if you’re sick, you can let someone decide your treatment. If you’re away, you might let someone manage your properties.

If you need help with taxes from the IRS, you fill out IRS Form 2848.

This form is like saying it’s okay for someone to handle your private tax stuff.

Remember, this is basic info, and for legal help, talk to a lawyer. It might be good to include a financial advisor in your plans.

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.

Process of Changing Power of Attorney
Process of Changing Power of Attorney. Photo Source (LinkedIn)

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.