Revoking an Enduring Power of Attorney
Revoking an Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a formal document that gives another person (known as your attorney) the legal power to make certain decisions on your behalf.
Specifically, an EPA gives that person the power to make personal and/or financial decisions for you when you have lost the capacity to make those decisions yourself.
If you have an existing EPA and your circumstances have changed, you may be wondering how you can end the power of attorney. This may happen automatically (depending on the circumstances), or you may need to complete a form to have the power of attorney revoked.
Reasons for automatic revocation
There are many reasons why an Enduring Power of Attorney will be revoked automatically. These are the main reasons that may arise:
Marriage. If you marry, your existing EPA will automatically be revoked if your attorney is anyone other than your spouse. If your spouse is already your attorney but you had assigned power to more than one attorney, then those other attorneys will have their power revoked.
Divorce. This will result in automatic revocation of your ex-spouse’s power of attorney. If you appointed other attorneys, their power will remain intact.
Death. Your death will result in automatic and complete revocation of your EPA.
Attorney becomes healthcare provider or paid carer. If your attorney becomes your healthcare provider or paid carer, their power of attorney is automatically revoked.
Attorney becomes incapable. If your attorney loses the capacity to act on your behalf, their power is automatically revoked.
Attorney becomes bankrupt, insolvent, or dies. All of these circumstances result in automatic revocation of your attorney’s power.
Reasons you may choose to revoke a power of attorney
There may be situations where you no longer want a certain person to be your attorney. These reasons may include:
Loss of trust. You may no longer trust the person you originally chose as your attorney to make important health care or financial decisions on your behalf. You may believe that this person is no longer likely to act in your best interests.
Move interstate or overseas. Your attorney may have moved interstate or overseas, making it impractical for them to act as your attorney.
Found someone more suitable. Over time, you may have formed closer bonds with a person or people other than those who you have appointed as your attorney, and may wish for them to be replaced.
Completing a revocation form
In situations that do not result in automatic revocation, such as the ones listed above, you will need to complete a Form 6 and keep it in a safe place (for example, with your lawyer). This can be done at any time, as long as you have the capacity to understand what you are doing. You must also ensure that you inform your attorney of the changes.
This form requires you to state the details of the original appointment and that you now wish to revoke it. You must then sign a statement of understanding which explains that you fully understand what you are doing and have the capacity to make this decision.
There must be a witness to your signature, and that witness must attest to your capacity to make the decision to revoke the power of attorney. The witness must not be your health care provider or paid carer, and must be either a justice of the peace, commissioner for declarations, lawyer, or notary public.
Revoking a power of attorney can be a difficult decision for you to make, or you may be unsure if it has already occurred automatically. If you have any questions arising from this post, please contact one of our expert estate planning lawyers by calling us on 07 3106 3016 or contacting us using the form on this page.
This article does not give legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended to provide general and summary information on legal topics, current at the time of first publication. You should seek professional legal advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained herein.