Revoking your durable power of attorney

Your durable power of attorney plays a very important role near the end of your life. Once you determine your candidate, they will have the ability to make critical health care decisions when you become physically or mentally incapacitated. If you have any preferences for how long you want to be on life support, they will make the call for you.

As with other elements of estate planning in Texas, you could also change your mind and find your original choice to be unworthy for the role. Perhaps they have shown themselves to be untrustworthy, an accident occurred to them, or they were more associated with your spouse before your divorce. Regardless of the reasoning, you should familiarize yourself with how to revoke their title should you decide to change your representative.

Record the revocation

While you can orally perform the revocation in Texas, it is better that you put it in writing so you can simply copy it and distribute it to those who need it. The document needs your name, a statement that you are of sound mind and your approval to revoke the power of attorney. You should also include the dates of when this happened as well as the date of when the original durable power of attorney document was signed. You can also include this revocation information when writing about your new power of attorney if you want to get two tasks done.

Contact the prior agent

If your prior designated person is still alive, you should inform them about your decision to revoke them. Texas requires that the person is aware of the revocation in case they try to use their power when you become incapacitated. They may or may not take it well, but it is much better letting them know now than later to resolve conflicts while you can still think and speak properly.

Inform the third parties

Arguably the most important step is letting any banks, hospitals or insurance companies know about this change. You need to provide proof to them with the new document you just made confirming the change. Some may ask to see the original document for further confirmation. Thanks to a new Texas law, you can provide them a photocopy or electronically transmitted copy of the original document to avoid the pain of buying multiple certified copies from the county clerk’s office.

If you need any assistance in writing your new durable power of attorney document or with the revocation process, you should consider contacting a local estate planning attorney to ensure that you are performing everything correctly.

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