Can I remove my name as a Medical POA substitute representative?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I remove my name as a Medical POA substitute representative?

I was named as a Medical POA substitute without asking my permission. I want
to remove my name but the principal’s attorney says I cannot. The principal and
I both live in Indiana.

Asked on April 22, 2019 under Estate Planning, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The attorney is both right and wrong.
He's right in that the medical POA is not your document: you can't change another person's document against their will.
But he's wrong in that you can't be forced to serve as an agent or attorney-in-fact (those are the terms for the person given authority by a POA, medical or otherwise) against your will: you can't be required to make decisions, to be involved, to exercise authority, etc. 
Send the lawyer and the principal a letter, sent some way (e.g. certified mail) that you can prove delivery, stating that you refuse to serve to as the agent or attorney-in-fact and will not act under the medical POA. If they are smart, they will re-draft the form with someone else. If they don't, then if ever anyone (e.g. a doctor or hospital) approaches you about the medical POA in the future, simply inform them (and follow-up in writing) that you are refusing to serve in that capacity and never consented to the role.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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