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How do I remove myself as power of attorney without resistance?

Bellevue, PA |

Everything is taken care of for the person to whom I've been assigned as POA (not my choice, but I kept my word that I would compete what was started). I live 3000 miles away. The successor POA lives in the adjoining state and I want her to take over. I’ve kept records of everything and can mail her the files with instructions. What is the best way to approach everyone about this? I want outside advice before I talk to our lawyer again. It’s important to note there is no family and the POA is for an 82 year old with dementia.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. The answer here would depend on how the original power of attorney was worded. If there is any language in it that specifies that if you are unwilling to act as the attorney-in-fact under the power, the secondary person then takes over, all that would be required would be for you to execute an affidavit that you are no longer willing to act in that capacity.

    If the original power doesn't allow you to resign, then you would likely have to get a court order to allow the secondary attorney-in-fact under the power to take over. I'd suggest you contact your county bar association and ask for a consultation under the local lawyer referral service; these are generally either free or no more than $50 for a half-hour consultation.

    Of course, as with all of my online answers, my advice is limited by the brevity of your question and the facts provided. Additional information would be required to provide definitive legal advice, so this answer isn't intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client relationship.

    Good luck!

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  2. I agree with my Pennsylvania colleague, except to add the following:

    Once you have signed the Affidavit resigning as the Agent, you should advise the successor agent that he/she should attach the Affidavit to the original power of attorney so that all interested parties will know to recognize the successor.

    It's a small matter, but it may make the difference between the successor being recognized, or not.

    Good luck.

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  3. In addition to the comments made by the other authors, I would seek a discharge or release. This can be granted by the Successor Agent or through the eventual heirs of the estate. You want to ensure that no one will question your actions in the future. If you cannot get releases signed on a voluntary basis, I would file an application with the local probate court seeking an approval of the account. It seems like you have done a great job. You should protect yourself from someone who may not appreciate your efforts.

    This response does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. It is also not to be taken as firm legal advice as such would be contingent on a full inquiry by the attorney into the complete background of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter. The response is meant to be a helpful guide to a question in a manner which reflects the limited information provided by the inquirer.

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