Revoking a power of attorney and lasting power of attorney

General Powers of Attorney (GPAs) and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) are both extremely useful legal mechanisms. However, if circumstances change, they may become inappropriate and it will be necessary to revoke them.

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Why might I need to revoke a general power of attorney (GPA)?

Some of the main reasons the person who granted a GPA (the donor) might decide to revoke a GPA are:

  • The donor is no longer happy with the attorney and wishes to cancel their appointment - this may be due to a personal dispute or other developments which make their appointment unsuitable.
  • If the GPA was created for a specific purpose which is no longer relevant (eg they were travelling overseas or on an extended holiday, but have now returned to the UK).

How do I revoke a general power of attorney?

To revoke a GPA you can use a Revocation of power of attorney. Ensure that you formally inform your attorney of the revocation and provide them with any notice to which they are entitled.

What are the other ways a general power of attorney can end?

Other than through revocation, a GPA can also end if:

  • there is an end date on the GPA which has been reached
  • the person who granted the GPA loses their mental capacity (ie if they become unable to make decisions for themselves due to an impairment of the brain)
  • the person who granted the GPA dies
  • the death of the attorney
  • the incapacity of the attorney

Why might I need to revoke an LPA?

As with a GPA, a donor may decide to revoke an LPA if they decide the attorney is no longer suitable.

If a donor has more than one attorney, it is possible to remove just one attorney by sending a written statement to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) called a ‘partial deed of revocation’.

If a donor would like to add a new/extra attorney, they will need to end the existing LPA and create a new one.

A donor may also wish to revoke an LPA if it was created for a specific reason which is no longer relevant (eg they were undergoing brain surgery which could have resulted in brain damage but the operation has been successful).

How do I revoke an LPA?

As long as you have not lost your mental capacity, you can revoke your LPA at any point by sending a written statement (called a ‘deed of revocation’) to the OPG, together with the original LPA.

What are the other ways an LPA can end?

Other than through revocation, an LPA will end if:

  • the attorney loses their mental capacity (for this reason it is a good idea to appoint more than one attorney), are removed by the Court of Protection or dies
  • the attorney is your husband, wife or civil partner and they divorce you or dissolve the civil partnership
  • the attorney becomes bankrupt or subject to a Debt Relief Order (in the case of a property and financial affairs LPA)
  • the donor dies
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