What if I no longer want to be someone’s Power of Attorney?

Asked on December 6, 2015 under Estate Planning, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

While you should formally relinquish your position with a notice to the principal, to any other or back-up attorneys-in-fact, or to any legal guardian(s), remember that you are under NO obligation to act as the attorney-in-fact: i.e. you don't need to make decisions for this person, do not need to accept paperwork or documentation for him/her, etc. Having a power of attorney in your favor is not the same thing as being a legal guardian: you are under no obligation to act for the princiapl (the person who created the POA). So yes, do provide notice that you do not intend to act as tha attorney-in-fact, but also, while removing yourself, do not think that you must act for the principal or let anyone pressure you into acting for him or her. You do not have to.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You will need to relinquish your position as agent. It can be done by simply informing the principal that you no longer want to serve as their agent. That having been said, you first need to check the actual POA document; it might set out a specific procedure that needs to be followed. If not, then just give the principal written notice. If they are incapacitated, most jurisdictions allow you to instead deliver the notice to their guardian. If no guardian has been appointed, you should be able to give your resignation to the person who cares for them (check directly with a local attorney).
Note: Many times, a principal will name 2 POA's. In this case, give notice of your resignation to the other attorney-in-fact.


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