Power of attorney (POA) is a legal document you create and sign that nominates another person, usually a family member or close friend, to make financial, medical, or legal decisions on your behalf in the event that you become unable to do so. For example, if you create a POA designating your sibling as the decision maker, and you suddenly become incapacitated due to an accident or an illness, your sibling will make decisions on your behalf until you recover.
Our lives change all the time, which means our estate planning documents will also change. Perhaps, the person you nominated in your POA years ago is no longer the person you want to make decisions on your behalf… which leads to the question: Can I change or revoke a power of attorney?
The answer is yes, you can change or revoke a POA with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. We recommend reviewing your estate plan on a regular basis to ensure your wishes are still accurately reflected, including who you have nominated in your POA.
Transferring a power of attorney in NJ
The necessary steps to transfer a POA are as follows:
- Write a statement revoking your existing POA. You need to provide legal documentation via your attorney, and it needs to be notarized.
- Tell the formerly-nominated person that you’re changing your POA.
- Give copies of the revocation to all relevant parties: your attorney, the formerly-nominated person, and any financial institutions who may have your POA on file.
- Work with your lawyer to prepare a new POA.
Do I need to hire a lawyer in order to change or cancel a power of attorney?
Yes, we recommend hiring an experienced estate planning attorney if you want to change or cancel your POA. There are strict legal guidelines and processes that must be followed, and if they aren’t, your POA may be rendered invalid and your true wishes will not be carried out. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to work with an estate planning lawyer who can ensure your former POA is revoked, and your new POA is legally valid.