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How to revoke a power of attorney

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 PoA is revoked.

General power of attorney

The death, incapacity or bankruptcy of the donor or sole attorney will automatically revoke the validity of any general power of attorney (GPA).

GPAs 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 won't be effective.

Lasting power of attorney

A donor, with the mental capacity to act, can revoke a lasting power of attorney (LPA) by sending a revocation notice to the attorney(s) and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). 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 or more than one attorney is appointed to act jointly with in neither case a provision for any replacement attorney(s) and any 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 refuses to take up their appointment and that attorney is the only attorney appointed in the LPA or they are appointed to act jointly with other attorneys and in neither case is there provision for any replacement attorney(s); or
  • The donor and the sole attorney, or one of the attorneys appointed to act jointly, were married or in a civil partnership with each other but have since been divorced or ended their civil partnership, and there is no provision in the LPA to the effect that this won't 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 GPA.

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 will also be automatically terminated where a sole attorney or joint attorney becomes mentally incapable or bankrupt and there is no provision for a replacement attorney

The COP can also revoke an EPA in certain circumstances.

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