How to Challenge Power of Attorney

By Mike Broemmel

A power of attorney designates an individual to oversee either the financial affairs or medical needs of the individual who creates the appointment in the first instance. The person creating the power attorney maintains the power to terminate the authority. A third party generally does not have the ability to effectively challenge a power of attorney. In some limited instances, a third party is able to challenge a power of attorney. A person can pursue a challenge to a power of attorney based on a contention that the individual who created the power of attorney lacked competence to do so. In the alternative, a challenge is possible on an allegation that the agent is not acting in the best interests of the grantor--the individual who created the power of attorney.

Write a letter to the agent appointed in the power of attorney. Advise the agent of your intention to formally challenge the power of attorney. Set forth the reason for mounting such a challenge. A challenge normally is based on lack of competence of the grantor at the time the power of attorney was signed or misfeasance of the agent. Identify your relationship to the grantor. Demand that the agent withdraw from acting on behalf of the grantor.

Draft a petition to terminate power of attorney. The petition will commence a case in probate court for the removal of the agent and cancellation of the power of attorney. Specifically site the reasons why you maintain the power of attorney should be terminated. Explain in the petition your relationship to the grantor and why you believe you have standing to seek a cancellation of the power of attorney. You need not be a blood relative. You do have to have a close enough connection to the grantor to have actual knowledge of reasons to terminate the power of attorney.

File the petition to terminate power of attorney with the clerk of the court.

Deliver a copy of the petition to terminate to both the individual who created the power of attorney as well as the appointed agent.

Request a hearing date on the petition for termination of the power of attorney. The request for a hearing is made through either the judge of the probate court's administrative assistant or the clerk of the court.

Deliver notification of the date, time and location of the hearing to the grantor and agent associated with the power of attorney.

Appear at the hearing and present all relevant evidence supporting your motion to terminate power of attorney.

About the Author

Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.