When an individual assigns their power of attorney, they select someone to make important financial or medical decisions on their behalf should they become unable to make such decisions on their own. However, in limited circumstances, next of kin may be able to override power of attorney in California.
Proving the power of attorney’s decisions should be challenged can be a difficult process. However, when you have an experienced legal advocate on your side, the process can go more smoothly. Do not hesitate to contact the Simmrin Law Group for help protecting your loved one’s wishes.
Who Has the Authority to Override the Power of Attorney?
Principals have the authority to designate their power of attorney. If a principal is of sound mind, they have the authority to revoke their existing agent’s power of attorney duties at any time. However, anyone else who believes the principal may be taken advantage of or incapable of removing the existing agent can challenge the court to override the current power of attorney.
There are generally only three ways power of attorney privileges can be revoked. These include:
- The principal’s family members or loved ones petition the court to revoke the power of attorney’s duties.
- The principal can revoke the power of attorney’s responsibilities by completing a revocation form.
- The principal’s court-appointed guardian can request the power of attorney privileges be revoked by the court.
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How Power of Attorney Works in California
When an individual assigns their power of attorney, a power of attorney is then responsible for making critical legal decisions on the principal’s behalf. The principal refers to the individual who granted a power of attorney their authority. Not only will a power of attorney be responsible for making essential financial decisions, but they may also need to make critical medical decisions if the principal cannot make these decisions on their own.
The principal can appoint an individual as power of attorney, or they can choose an organization or institution to act on their behalf. Those interested in setting up a power of attorney should discuss their options with their attorney first.
Selecting the right power of attorney is crucial to protect your wishes. Setting up a power of attorney is also a great way to protect yourself from undue influence from other family members, friends, or beneficiaries.
Why Override a Power of Attorney?
It may become necessary to override an agent’s power of attorney responsibilities when the principal’s other family members or loved ones have concerns that the existing power of attorney is not acting in the principal’s best interests. Overriding a power of attorney may also be necessary if they are abusing their responsibilities in any way.
Your family may need to override an existing power of attorney if the designated agent cannot handle their responsibilities due to a medical condition or incapacitation. For this reason, assigning an alternate agent is critical.
How to Challenge the Power of Attorney
Just because someone has been granted power of attorney privileges does not mean this authority lasts indefinitely. In fact, it could be revoked at any time. However, to appropriately challenge the agent’s power of attorney, the petitioner must get the revocation in writing and explain that the principal or other relevant party wishes to revoke the agent’s power of attorney.
Principals have the authority to revoke a power of attorney at any time as long as they are of sound mind. Otherwise, those acting on their behalf will need to take action. Here is how to get started in challenging power of attorney privileges
Draft the Revocation
Start by preparing the revocation documents. They should include the following:
- The principal’s date of birth
- The principal’s name
- The principal’s address
- The principal’s Social Security number
- The principal’s signature
- The agent’s name
- The date a power of attorney was issued
- Signatures from two credible witnesses
Notify Relevant Parties
Next, relevant parties must be notified of the intent to revoke a power of attorney’s privileges. The principal can deliver a copy of the revocation documents to the agent, relevant institutions, healthcare providers, and other third parties. This will help ensure that the principal’s wishes are met, and that the agent does not continue to have access to their revoked responsibilities.
Draft New Power of Attorney Forms
Once you override a power of attorney, the principal needs to select a new power of attorney agent and draft the necessary power of attorney documents. Be sure to include an alternate agent if the primary power of attorney cannot make important decisions on the principal’s behalf.
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Can a Third Party Override the Power of Attorney?
There are specific circumstances in which a third party can override a power of attorney. This might include a family member, trustee, or the principal’s executor of their estate. You must take three primary steps to override a power of attorney as a third party.
- Speaking with the principal to determine whether they are of sound mind and understand what decisions were made and why.
- Speaking with a power of attorney to discuss concerns and determine whether the agent is acting in the principles best interests. The agent has the option of standing their ground or agreeing to resign from their position and releasing their responsibilities to the alternate power of attorney.
- If the agent does not agree to release their responsibilities as power of attorney, you can file a petition with the court explaining why the agent should be released from their duties as power of attorney. Ultimately, the judge will determine whether the agent’s authority should be revoked or upheld.
Schedule Your Confidential Consultation Today
Overriding a power of attorney is possible, but only if specific conditions are met. If you believe it is necessary to override your loved one’s power of attorney but do not know where to get started, do not hesitate.
Contact an experienced attorney at the Simmrin Law Group to discuss your next steps. You can call our office or complete our confidential contact form to get started as soon as today.