From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: Years ago, I gave a friend a General Durable Power of Attorney. Now I am married, living in Chester County and want to give Power of Attorney to my spouse. My former-friend will not give me the old Power of Attorney. Can I revoke or void the Power of Attorney if he still has the original?
Yes, you can void a Power of Attorney at any time as long as you have the requisite mental capacity. Your situation will be a little more complex, as you have given the original document to your former agent. I have not seen that Power of Attorney, but it may have a paragraph that states that banks and others need not confirm with you that the document is still in power.
To protect yourself, have an experienced Chester County Estate Planning Attorney draft a new Power of Attorney for your signature that clearly revokes the old document. Then, your attorney can provide a copy of that new Power of Attorney to all your financial institutions along with notification that the old Power of Attorney is void. If you believe your “former friend” may do something nefarious with the old Power of Attorney we could always bring him before the Chester County Orphans’ Court and have the judge order him to turn over all copies of the document.
If you have questions about Estate Planning in Chester County, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.