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Revoking Power of Attorney in California: A Complete Guide

Posted by James Burns | Dec 13, 2023 | 0 Comments


Hey there! So, you've given someone the power to make decisions for you with a Power of Attorney (POA), but now you're thinking it's time for a change. It happens! Life is full of twists and turns, and sometimes, we need to adjust to who's got the reins, especially when it comes to our own choices. If you're in California and thinking about revoking a POA, don't worry. I'm here to guide you through this process in a way that's easy to understand.

Understanding Power of Attorney Before we jump into revoking a POA, let's make sure we all understand what it is. Imagine you're handing over a magical key to someone, a key that lets them make important choices for you. This could be about your money, your health, or just general life decisions. In California, there are a few types of these magical keys: General POA, Durable POA, and Healthcare POA. Each one gives different powers, and knowing which one you've got helps you understand exactly what you're taking back.

Why Revoking a POA Can Be Necessary You might be wondering why someone would want to take back this power. There are lots of reasons! Maybe the person you chose isn't the right fit anymore, or your life situation has changed. Relationships can shift, and what felt right before might not feel right now. It's completely normal to change your mind, and the law understands that. The important thing is handling this change in a legal and clear way.

The Impact of Divorce on Power of Attorney Divorce can seriously impact your POA. If you've named your spouse as your agent and you're going through a divorce, you might want to rethink that decision. California law doesn't automatically revoke a POA upon divorce, so it's crucial to take action if you no longer want your ex-spouse to have that power.

The Legal Steps to Revoke a POA Okay, so how do you officially take back a POA in California? It's not as simple as just saying it out loud or thinking it really hard. You have to put it in writing. This means drafting a formal statement that says, "I'm revoking this POA." California law, especially in the Probate Codes (Sections 4120-4130 and 4150-4155), spells out how to do this properly. These rules are there to make sure there's no confusion and everything is above board.

The Process of Revoking Your POA Let's walk through the steps. First, write that revocation statement. It's like breaking up with your agent (the person you gave the POA to), but in a legal way. You need to sign this in front of a notary - that's someone official who makes sure you are who you say you are. Then, it's super important to tell your agent about the revocation. Also, let any places like banks or hospitals know about the change. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and the old POA won't be used by mistake.

What Happens After You Revoke a POA Revoking a POA isn't the end of the story. You might need to set up a new POA if you still want or need someone to help you make decisions. It's all about making sure things are set up the way you want them, especially for times when you can't make your own decisions. Think about who is the best person for this role now and how they can help you manage your affairs.

When to Seek Professional Help Sometimes, you might feel unsure about this whole process. That's totally normal! If you feel like you're in over your head or just want to make sure everything is perfect, it's a good idea to reach out to a legal expert. They know the ins and outs of this stuff and can guide you through each step.


Revoking a Power of Attorney is a significant decision, but it's all about ensuring your wishes and choices are respected. If you're feeling uncertain or just need a little guidance, don't hesitate to reach out to a professional. They can help you make sure your revocation is clear, legal, and exactly what you need for your peace of mind.

About the Author

James Burns

Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Business and Real Estate Transactions, nutraceutical Law and franchising:


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