Can a POA be revoked even if the original document cannot be found?

A fellow caregiver asked...

To revoke power of attorney is it necessary to know the date the old one was signed on? The form of revoking power of attorney has a place to put the date on when the original was signed. The original can't be found.

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.

Even something as stodgy as the law can't demand that you do the impossible.

The important thing is that you get the current wishes recorded on a new power of attorney form"”and clearly indicate on it that it is the intent that all prior powers of attorney be revoked.

Filling out a new power of attorney is generally the way that the old one gets revoked. So make sure that the revocation form you are looking at is not some extraneous form that is not required by law.

Still, some banks and other institutions sometimes demand a formal written revocation. In that case, just do your best, filling in the other information required. If you have an approximate date or year, you may wish to include that. But note expressly the date the new power of attorney was signed. Then be sure to keep that original in a safe place. Many recommend a freezer, which is fireproof, but easily accessible if needed.