3 August 2022

Can I revoke a power of attorney?



A power of attorney appoints one or more individuals to manage your assets and make your legal and financial decisions.
Australia Family and Matrimonial
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A power of attorney is a document that appoints one or more individuals to have the authority to manage your assets and make legal and financial decisions on your behalf.

An enduring power of attorney continues to have effect if you were to lose your mental capacity.

Your attorney must act in your best interests.

However, as time goes on, your circumstances may change or your relationships with your attorneys may break down and you may wish to change who you have appointed.

In order to revoke an enduring power of attorney, you need to serve notice of the revocation on the attorneys appointed. The revocation needs to be in writing, signed by you and witnessed.

Section 47 of the Powers of Attorney Act (NSW) 2003 provides that an attorney is entitled to rely on a power of attorney if they are unaware of the termination or suspension of the document. Therefore, you must serve written notice on the attorney and have them acknowledge receipt of the revocation.

If the Power of Attorney is registered with NSW Land Registry Services, you should also register the revocation with this agency.

You may need to consider updating your documents in the following scenarios:

  • If you have separated or divorced from a partner who has been appointed as your attorney.
  • If you have had a breakdown of relationship with an attorney.
  • If you are concerned that an attorney is misusing funds.
  • If you are concerned that an attorney may not act in your best interests.

It is important to review your documents as soon as your circumstances change. If you lose your mental capacity, then you lose the ability to change your documents.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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