How to Revoke a Power of Attorney in California

By Roger Thorne J.D.
California powers of attorney only can be in writing.

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Powers of attorney grant an agent legal authority to enter into legally binding agreements between the principal and third parties. A principal can, for any reason, terminate power of attorney at any time. In California, specific state laws apply when such terminations take place. If you want to terminate your power of attorney in California, you need to be sure that you take the proper steps to ensure it is done correctly.

Review the power of attorney document. Before revoking the power of attorney (POA) you should first review the original document. The POA might contain specific sections or clauses about terminating the relationship. If so, read these sections carefully and make sure you follow the procedures or methods outlined in the POA.

Contact the agent. Your agent has the ability to make decisions on your behalf as long as the agent believes in good faith that he is empowered to do so. When you decide to terminate the principal-agent relationship, you should contact the agent immediately and tell him about your decision to terminate the power of attorney.

Write the agent a letter. You also need to write the agent a letter informing her of your decision. Make it clear that you have terminated the power of attorney and she no longer is your agent. Sign and date the letter and send it via certified or registered mail, or some other method that allows you to confirm delivery.

Contact third parties. Your agent might have worked on your behalf in dealing with other parties. If you know the other parties with whom the agent interacted, you also should contact them to inform them that the agent no longer is able to make decisions on your behalf. If your agent or third party is an organization that keeps powers of attorney records, make sure you send the revocation to the appropriate place. If you are not sure who to send it to, contact the organization beforehand and ask.

About the Author

Roger Thorne is an attorney who began freelance writing in 2003. He has written for publications ranging from "MotorHome" magazine to "Cruising World." Thorne specializes in writing for law firms, Web sites, and professionals. He has a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas.

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