A power of attorney or a POA is a legal contract between the principal and agent. The principal is a person, a group of people, or any institution that gives another person power on their behalf. The agent gets the power to act on the principal’s behalf because of physical or mental incapacitation. But there are many cases where the agent takes advantage of the situation. In such cases, you may want to know if one can override a Power of Attorney. If yes, then who can override a power of attorney?
1. Where Can A Power of Attorney Act be?
According to the power of attorney rules, the agent must legally sign any legal document, take medical decisions, file taxes, and carry out all kinds of financial transactions. They are legally obligated to pay bills and make monetary decisions as well. Since the principal is unable to make decisions, the agent comes as a relief for taking actions on their behalf in most cases.
2. Is It Easy to Override A Power of Attorney?
No, it is not so easy to override a power of attorney. Even though the agent works against the principal’s best interests, it isn’t easy to prove that. That’s why you are expected to be careful about whom to choose as your agent. You should always choose a trustworthy person for a power of attorney.
3. Possible Reasons for Overriding A Power of Attorney
It would be best if you had valid reasons for overriding a power of attorney. The inability to carry out duties and taking the right financial decisions is a valid reason for a power of attorney to be overruled. If the agent misuses the trust and tries to transfer assets without permission, if the agent takes a huge loan and goes into immense debt in the name of the original owner of the assets and misuses attorney rights, they can be removed as the agent.
Another reason for overriding POA is if the agent wants to resign from duties. The agent will be considered incapable and replaced immediately in such a case.
The validity of a power of attorney ends upon the principal’s death. All the decisions taken by the agent become their own. They become responsible for any consequences afterwards.
4. People Who Can Override A Power of Attorney
There are three possible categories of people who can revoke a power of attorney:
4.1. If The Principal Is in The Position to Make Decisions
For removing an appointed agent, a good mind and body principal is the best choice. They can easily nullify the contract.
4.2. If The Legal Guardian Appointed by The Court Appeals for The Cancellation
The legal Guardian looks after the principal’s wishes and best interests. They can ask the court to nullify the power of attorney document.
4.3. If Any Third Party Or A Family Member Is Interested in Revoking The Contract
A friend or other family members of the principal may file a petition in court to cancel a power of attorney. The court decides on the contract after proper verification.
5. Process That Needs to Be Followed by The Principal to Revoke Power of Attorney
It is the Principal who has given a power of attorney. They can take back the same power. A power of attorney can only be overridden in writing. The Principal must express the intention of overriding clearly in his court application along with the power of attorney document.
Now you must know the steps for the legal process:
5.1. Ensure That The Petition of Revocation Is Complete
The legal forms must contain the principal’s name and date of birth. It should also contain their address, social security number, and date when POA was handed over to the agent. Mention your agent’s name.
You will need two witnesses to sign and to prove your credibility. An attorney allowed to practice law can also be a witness.
5.2. The Agent Should be Notified about The Revocation
The Principal should visit the agent to hand over the document of revocation. Any person related to POA needs to be notified. Even if there is more than one person or any institution, they must notify all.
5.3. Prepare for The New Power of Attorney If You Need
Find the name of your alternate agent. The principal or the Guardian can replace the existing agent with a new one. Fill new power of attorney form. Submit your power of attorney form for further proceedings. You will find everything regarding replacement, springing power, and when it will come into effect in the replacement document.
6. Process of Overriding A Power of Attorney by Third Party
A POA can be revoked by someone other than the principal because of misuse of powers. If it is found that the agent is not working in the best interest of the principal, a power of attorney can be cancelled. Other relatives and family members are legally allowed to plea for altering power of attorney. Their friends can also try to override any POA. Legal Guardian may also file a petition for necessary changes in a POA.
But there are a few stages one must go through to revoke power of attorney granted by someone else:
6.1. Speaking to The Principal
If the principal is in a position to talk, you must try to speak to them about your concerns. Many times a person does not see what a third party can sense. If they understand your concerns, overriding a power of attorney will be easier. The principal’s wishes can challenge the agent easily as they have withdrawing power.
6.2. Talking to The Agent
If you don’t have the option to talk to the principal because of their declining health and physical and mental capacity, you can try to talk to the agent directly. You may convince them to resign from the contract. If the agent refuses, making legal documents for the alternate agent won’t be easy.
6.3. Go to The Court
If the agent refuses to accept your suggestions, you may have to take legal action, file a petition in court, and provide evidence. Submit the power of attorney document. This legal battle will ensure the well-being and best interest of the principal. It may revoke the power of attorney and transfer guardianship if required. Consult an experienced lawyer to seek legal advice.
7. What to Expect After Filing in The Court
The Court proceeding is determined by your agent’s willingness to transfer power. The fortune of legal action varies for the individual case. A trustworthy agent is, thus, recommended for this kind of legal document.
A judge will look into the matter and check all the documents and medical records. They will check the reliability of the petition and if the person is getting medical care and other assistance. Then, they will decide whether it is right to override a power of attorney and make the power of attorney documents void.
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A power of attorney is very important regarding the care and well-being of the Principal. You must choose the right person before you transfer your powers to someone. But a power of attorney can always be overridden in case of misconduct.
Give us feedback if these processes helped you. Tell us in the comment section below if you had to go through any additional procedures.