If Aunt Gertrude decides that she no longer wants her niece Milly to be her attorney-in-fact (often referred to as her ‘power of attorney’), then she needs to take action. It is up to Aunt Gertrude to revoke the Power of Attorney document and to remove her niece from her position.

            “I didn’t know you could do that” is the most common response I hear.

            Yes, you can do that. In fact, the principal, in the case Aunt Gertrude, is in control. Aunt Gertrude needs to tell her niece Milly “I no longer want you to be my attorney-in-fact.” She should also have her attorney draft a letter, formally revoking Milly’s authority as the attorney-in-fact. It is better to have a writing on this matter.

            “But what if she won’t go? What if Milly says “Oh no. I have the POWER!” Don’t laugh, this happens more than you might think it does.  Aunt Gertrude simply needs to say to Milly “You are no longer my attorney-in-fact.” Practically speaking, Aunt Gertrude will also have to make arrangements to have someone else assist her, if at all possible, in writing a formal letter and helping her to choose a new attorney-in-fact.

            Sometimes this can be uncomfortable, but it is often the only way to stop the abuse of the power of attorney document.

            Please contact Mateya Law Firm to help you with your estate planning needs, including the Power of Attorney document.