How do I remove myself from being Mom's power of attorney in Colorado?

A fellow caregiver asked...

I am on my mother's general POA in Colorado to assist with financial decisions in the event she becomes incapacitated. My brother is also listed on it in the event I'm not available. I would like to remove myself from her POA due to some problems within the family. How exactly do I do this?

Expert Answer

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

You know your own heart and mind and the people in your life best, or course. But make sure cooler thoughts prevail.

I do encourage you not to take this step hastily or when fueled by anger. Your mother likely initially selected you for good reason"”and once you have removed yourself, it may be a difficult thing to reverse should your family situation change again and should the problems be resolved or patched up.

As things sit, you have no duty to act unless and until your mother becomes incapacitated. If that happens, the current family feuds may have settled, leaving you open and more willing to act. If not, you can always choose to remove yourself as agent then.

That written, know that the power of attorney itself usually spells out the steps an agent needs to take to resign. Generally, he or she must notify the principal (your mother) in writing, along with any guardian or conservator who has been appointed, any successor agent named in the document (your brother) and all reasonably ascertainable third parties who might be affected by the resignation, such as a primary caretaker.