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How to Revoke Power of Attorney (and Why You Might Want To)

April 28, 2023

Having a power of attorney arrangement in place is a smart move for a number of reasons. First, a power of attorney is one of the most flexible estate planning tools available. You may use it to empower your agent to make either medical or financial decisions (or both) on your behalf. Second, you can tailor it to take effect at different times, either before you are incapacitated or after you are incapacitated (or both). And third, you can fairly easily revoke it, allowing you to appoint different agents as you see fit. If you are considering revoking a power of attorney, our Springfield power of attorney counsel can assist you. 

Procedure for Revoking Power of Attorney in Missouri 

Revoking a power of attorney under Missouri law is fairly simple. A principal may revoke an agent’s power of attorney by informing the agent (either orally or in writing) that the power of attorney is terminated. While oral revocations are sufficient to terminate power of attorney, it is generally recommended that the revocation be in writing. In some cases, power of attorney terminates automatically, such as when the principal dies or upon the filing of a petition for divorce when the principal and the agent are married to each other. 

Reasons to Revoke a Power of Attorney 

Circumstances change, and it is not uncommon for a principal to revoke power of attorney from one agent and transfer it to another. Some of the most common reasons for revoking power of attorney include:  

Relationship Changes

Most principals choose a close friend or family member to act as their agent. While that relationship may be strong when the power of attorney is executed, it may not stay that way long-term. People lose touch with each other, get in fights, move away, and get married, all of which can necessitate a change in power of attorney. 

Death or Incapacity of the Agent 

An agent must be capable of carrying out the duties specified in the power of attorney. If he or she can no longer perform those duties due to injury, illness, addiction, death, or incapacity, a new agent will need to be appointed.  

Loss of Trust

Given the enormous powers some agents are authorized to exercise, it is imperative that a principal trust his or her agent. Even if an agent seems trustworthy when the power of attorney is executed, that may not always be the case. An agent’s unhealthy relationships, questionable financial decisions, or excessive use of drugs or alcohol could justify a revocation. 

Logistical Challenges  

Principals and agents do not have to live in the same geographic area, but proximity can nonetheless be helpful, particularly with a durable power of attorney. If an agent lives too far away or becomes too busy to carry out his or her duties, the principal may need to find a new agent. 

Agent Request 

Acting as an agent comes with great responsibility, which in some cases may be too much for the agent to handle. In other cases, agents may become too busy with their personal and professional lives to be able to effectively carry out their duties. In those situations, power of attorney may be revoked upon the agent’s request. 

Discuss Revocation of Your Power of Attorney With Our Springfield Power of Attorney Counsel 

Revoking a power of attorney without having another agent in place is risky. Before revoking power of attorney, please contact our Springfield power of attorney counsel at LifeGen Law Group by calling 417-823-9898 or using our online contact form.