All powers of attorney automatically expire upon the principal’s death. Some powers of attorney expire on a particular date set by the principal. It is important to know that all powers of attorney are revocable if the right conditions are met. There are many reasons to revoke a power of attorney, an important one being loss of confidence in the agent; however, the principal does not need a reason to revoke the power of attorney.
Power of attorney can be revoked at any time, as long as the principal is are of sound mind. To revoke a power of attorney, the principal must do so in writing. Typically, the principal merely needs to prepare a simple statement containing the following:
- The principal’s name and date.
- The principal’s claim to be of sound mind.
- The principal’s explicit desire to revoke the durable power of attorney.
- The date the original durable power of attorney was executed.
- The name of the principal’s agent or agents.
- The principal’s signature.
It is important to distribute copies of this revocation statement to the agent and to any institutions and agencies, such as banks and hospitals, that may have had notice of the principal’s power of attorney. If the power of attorney is on file with a county records department, the statement revoking the power of attorney should be filed in the same place. After the durable power of attorney is revoked, the principal can 1) execute a new power of attorney naming someone else as agent to handle the principal’s affairs; or 2) handle the affairs independently.