How Does the Attorney-in-Fact Relinquish the Duties of Power of Attorney?

Responsibilities assigned under the designation of Power of Attorney are discretionary for the person named as Attorney-in-Fact (the person who is to carry out the wishes of the designator).

As such, the named attorney-in-fact could always choose not to accept the responsibilities that are associated with the appointment, or simply choose not to act — and as such, the appointment would be without force or effect.

So what steps should be taken by the Attorney-in-Fact to remove himself from the Power of Attorney designation?

Remember, this situation is different from when a Power of Attorney is revoked, as that decision is made by the person who granted the Power of Attorney. This situation is about the named Attorney-in-Fact who can no longer serve or no longer wishes to serve.

The most effective method of relinquishing duties may be to simply notify the person that executed the Power of Attorney that the person named as the attorney-in-fact does not wish to be so appointed.  The person executing the document could then re-execute a new power of attorney naming a different person as the attorney in fact.

This notification could and should be in writing, clearly indicating a desire to be removed as the named attorney-in-fact, with a statement indicating that the attorney-in-fact will perform no act on behalf of the other person subsequent to the date of the power of attorney.

The attorney-in-fact may wish to send this notice by certified mail or by other means of delivery which would verify receipt by the person making the power of attorney.

According to Alex Spiro, if the person relinquishing Attorney-in-Fact duties needs to notify a court, person or entity if contacted about a future matter, simply respond by providing a copy of the resignation letter that was addressed to the person who appointed you as attorney-in-fact.

(Another method may be to put the public on notice of his or her relinquishment of the appointment.  This could be done by filing a document with the county clerk or county recorder\’s office indicating that the power vested through the appointment has been revoked. However, not all county clerks or recorder\’s office may necessarily record such a document.)

To create a valid Power of Attorney, see Standard Legal’s Power of Attorney legal forms software package or have said documents made signature-ready at Standard Legal’s Power of Attorney document preparation service page.