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How to revoke a power of attorney

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How to revoke a power of attorney

If a person (the 'donor') appoints another person or persons (the 'attorney(s)') to act on their behalf under a power of attorney (POA), their authority to act continues until the power of attorney is revoked. The revocation of the different powers of attorney is described below.

General power of attorney

The death, incapacity or bankruptcy of the donor or sole attorney will automatically revoke the validity of any general POA.

General POAs can be revoked by the donor at any time with a deed of revocation. The attorney must also be notified of the revocation or the deed of revocation will not be sufficient.

Lasting power of attorney (LPA)

The donor can revoke an LPA by giving notice to the attorney(s) and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) whilst he or she still has the mental capacity to act. This should preferably be done by a deed of revocation signed by the donor. If the LPA was registered, the OPG will cancel the registration of the LPA when they receive the revocation notice, but only if it is satisfied that the donor has taken all the necessary legal steps to revoke it. The OPG will then also inform the attorney(s) and the donor of the cancellation of the LPA registration.

A property and financial affairs LPA is automatically revoked if:

  • The donor becomes bankrupt
  • If only one attorney is appointed with no provision for any replacement attorney(s) or more than one attorney is appointed to act jointly and any one of the attorneys become bankrupt
Both a property and financial affairs LPA and a health and welfare LPA will become automatically revoked if:

  • The attorney disclaims his or her appointment and the disclaiming attorney is the only attorney appointed in the LPA with no provision for any replacement attorney(s)or he or she is appointed to act jointly with other attorneys; or
  • The sole attorney, or one of the attorneys appointed to act jointly, was married to or in a civil partnership with the donor, which has since been dissolved or annulled, and there is no provision in the LPA to the effect that this will not affect the attorney's appointment.
Enduring power of attorney

An enduring power of attorney (EPA) can be revoked by the donor at any time before it has been registered with the Court of Protection (COP). The procedure is the same as for a general POA.

If the EPA has been registered, the donor must apply to the COP for confirmation of revocation. The COP will confirm the revocation where it is satisfied that the donor has taken all the necessary legal steps to revoke it and he or she still has the mental capacity to act.

The EPA may also be automatically terminated where a sole attorney or joint attorney becomes mentally incapable or bankrupt.

The COP can also revoke an EPA in certain circumstances.