When you create a power of attorney, you give someone else the ability to make your decisions for you. Whether you’re giving limited power of attorney or general power of attorney, it’s important for you to understand how and when these powers end.
A power of attorney is a document that allows you to delegate your legal authority from you (the principal) to your agent, also known as an attorney in fact. In order to make a power of attorney, you have to be mentally sound and capable of understanding your decisions. Conversely, a power of attorney cannot continue if you suddenly lose this ability. So, if you become incapacitated, any power of attorney you grant will automatically terminate.
However, there is one exception to this general rule. If you create and give a durable power of attorney your agent maintains the ability to act for you even if you are incapacitated.
As long as you are still legally capable of making your own decisions, you can choose to terminate a power of attorney whenever you like. In practical terms, this means that you have to contact your agent and notify him or her that you are terminating the relationship.
When terminating a power of attorney it’s important to note that the agent can still act for you even if you have decided to terminate the power but have yet to communicate your decision. The agent has to actually learn that the termination has taken place before his or her authority ends.
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