Changing Power of Attorney—How Does It Work?
Granting a power of attorney (POA) is an immense responsibility for both the person creating the document (principal) and the person getting the authorization to act on their behalf (agent). Choosing an appropriate person to be the agent is not an exact science, which is why the principal may decide to transfer power of attorney to someone else down the line.
If you want to know when, by whom, and in what situations changing power of attorney is possible, DoNotPay has the answers. We will also present a practical way to create the most complex of all POA types—durable power of attorney—in record time!
There are various types of POAs, depending on the principal’s needs. Considering the durability and scope, the most common POA forms are:
- General—The agent can decide on all matters in the principal’s life until they die or become incapacitated. At that point, the contract is considered void
- Durable—This type of POA ensures the person’s affairs will be taken care of even after they become incapacitated
- Limited—The principal limits the agent’s authorization to a specific period or matters
- Springing—It takes effect after a triggering event (typically causing the principal to become mentally or physically incompetent)
- Medical—The agent gets authorization to make all medical decisions on the incapacitated principal’s behalf until the principal:
- Passes away
- Is no longer in need of medical care
- Financial—The agent is granted the power to manage the principal’s financial affairs, including taxes, payments, property, and insurance transactions
When choosing an agent, the principal should pick a reliable individual who they can be sure will act in their best interest. People typically tend to go for a:
- Family member
- Business associate
The principal-agent collaboration may not work out for various reasons, including:
- Principal changing their mind
- Agent moving or resigning
When that happens, it becomes necessary to transfer the POA to a new agent.
The agent cannot transfer the POA to someone else unless the document specifically gives them that authority. The only person who can transfer power of attorney is the principal, as long as they’re mentally competent.
The principal should be prepared for the possibility of the POA transfer. They are advised to have one or more potential agents on standby for the transfer to go as painlessly as possible.
A principal can transfer power of attorney to a new agent in two ways, depending on whether they have or haven’t designated a successor agent.
If they have, the next agent listed in the document will take over the role. When the POA doesn’t list one or more potential agents, the principal must follow a series of steps to perform the transfer. Take a look at the table below for more information:
|Steps for Transferring POA||Description|
|Revoke the original POA||The principal has to prepare a written statement that they’re revoking power of attorney. The document should contain:
The statement should be notarized and, if possible, signed in the presence of witnesses
|Notify the agent||The principal should notify the existing agent of the revocation by sending a letter via certified mail. The agent has to provide the original power of attorney|
|Distribute the copies of the written revocation||A copy of the notarized statement should be sent to:
|Create a new POA||The principal should create a new power of attorney, designating a new agent. A signed and notarized copy should be sent to all relevant parties|
The family of an incompetent principal may be suspecting the agent of abusing his or her authority. When the principal is not mentally capable of transferring power of attorney to another agent, the family can ask the court to assign a legal guardian for the principal.
The court will then hold a hearing and decide if the principal needs a guardian. The person applying for guardianship can step up as a new agent if the court agrees.
Durable powers of attorney are the most reliable way to ensure your financial and medical affairs will be handled according to your wishes. Whether you are creating a durable POA for the first time or transferring the authority to another agent, you won’t have to spend a small fortune on lawyers. DoNotPay will create and help you get the POA notarized in a flash!
Once you subscribe to DoNotPay, you only need to:
- Select our Power of Attorney product
- Provide necessary information to our chatbot
- Opt to have the document notarized
The details you provided will help us tailor the document according to your specific needs and state law requirements. Since most states accept only notarized powers of attorney, you can use our app to connect to a certified online notary public in no time!
- Revoke a power of attorney
- Get a power of attorney for an elderly parent
- Take power of attorney away from someone
- Get a power of attorney for a child
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