In this article, we’re answering “Who can override a Power of Attorney?”
The short answer is the person who initially created the Power of Attorney in the first place. That said, there are scenarios where others can also override a Power of Attorney, which we’ll explore below.
This article is part of our free series on banking, estates, and the legal documents that surround them, including a free detailed guide to opening a private bank account for yourself and family members.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- Who Can Override a Power of Attorney?
- Reasons to Override a Power of Attorney
- How to Revoke a Power of Attorney?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?
Who Can Override a Power of Attorney?
The Principal who originally created a Power of Attorney (POA) can override or revoke the authority of a Power of Attorney at any time. In other instances, legal revocation can take place following due legal process. This will need to be concluded in court and will depend on the state laws governing the document.
Not surprisingly, whether a court grants the request to override a Power of Attorney will depend on the original document. This will include an assessment of the limitations and restrictions.
Of course, courts will also take into consideration the actions and competence of the Agent. This will include an assessment of whether the Agent is acting in the best interest of the Principal and exercising the power that the Principal has given consent for.
If the court finds that an Agent is not acting in the best interest of the Principal or is acting outside of their capacity as Agent, they may override a Power of Attorney and appoint the Successor Agent.
Reasons to Override a Power of Attorney
There are a number of reasons to override a Power of Attorney. These include the Power of Attorney no longer being in force, an Agent not acting in the interest of the Principal, the Principal being coerced into creating the Power of Attorney, and the Agent abusing the power granted to them under the Power of Attorney.
Other Reasons to Override a Power of Attorney
- Power of Attorney no longer in force
- Agent not acting in the interest of the Principal
- Principal being coerced into creating the Power of Attorney
- Agent abusing the power granted to them
How to Revoke a Power of Attorney?
The process to revoke a Power of Attorney will depend on the jurisdiction where the Power of Attorney was created, the reason for revocation, and the parties involved. However, in most cases, the first step will be asking the principal to revoke the Power of Attorney directly.
Contact the Principal
The Principal has the ability to revoke a Power of Attorney at any time.
Address the Agent
If the reason for revoking a Power of Attorney is related to the actions of the agent, then speaking with the Agent and trying to resolve the issue may be a more effective first step.
Take It to the Court of Law
If the Principal and the Agent are unwilling to revoke a Power of Attorney, the only avenue remaining is taking legal action in a court of law.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people looking into who can override power of attorney. If you have further questions you would like to ask our team, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
What Does a Power of Attorney Give You Authority Over?
A Power of Attorney gives you authority to act on behalf of the Principal as their Agent. That said, the specific powers granted by a Power of Attorney can vary. They can either be very specific or wide reaching. Likewise, a Power of Attorney may have a fixed time frame, be tied to the completion of a transaction, or be permanent.
What Are the Liabilities of Being a Power of Attorney?
The liabilities of being a Power of Attorney are tied to their own personal actions in carrying out the powers granted to them as Agent through the Power of Attorney. In other words, any liability will be the result of their own misconduct, negligence, or abuse of powers granted to them.
Can a Spouse Override a Power of Attorney?
No, a spouse cannot override a Power of Attorney without going through due legal process and having a valid reason. Valid reasons may include abuse by the Agent, either directly or abuse of the powers granted to them as Agent and not acting in the best interest of the Principal.
Can a Third Party Override a Power of Attorney?
No, a third party cannot override a Power of Attorney without going through due legal process and having a valid reason. Valid reasons may include abuse by the Agent, either directly or abuse of the powers granted to them as Agent and not acting in the best interest of the Principal.
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