Topic: Powers of Attorney
Q: How can I revoke my power of attorney? What if my agent engages in unauthorized acts after the power of attorney has been revoked or terminated? I’ve worked outside of the United States for the past 10 years. I granted my wife POA to purchase a home and access finances in 2004. We later divorced and I retained possession of the document. We’ve since remarried and reestablished a joint residence but because I was out of the country she oversaw the movement of my property into her home. When the question came up I was told that several documents including the POA had accidentally been misplaced or destroyed during the move. During my last visit, we moved once again into the house I own so she could sell hers. While checking online records of the sell of her house I discovered that the misplaced POA had been entered into county records at the same time.
A: Normally, at least in PA, POA’s are not filed as part of estate planning. They are filed when an incapacitated person, who has a POA, wants to transfer real estate. In such case, they are filed simultaneously with the deed. Most POAs should have language that states that the POA can be revoked in writing by the Principal. Therefore, you should be able to revoke this, by drafting a written Revocation of POA. The Revocation of POA should be sent or delivered to all those persons or entities who have a copy of the original POA on file.