2850 Dairy Drive, Suite 100 Madison, WI 53718-6742 Telephone: (608)224-0606
Toll Free: 1-800-488-2596 Fax: (608)224-0607 www.cwag.org 09/2010
The Coalition of
Wisconsin Aging Groups is
a nonprofit, nonpartisan,
organization that was
founded in 1978.
REVOKING A POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR FINANCES
Wisconsin law permits a Power of Attorney for Finances (POA-F) document to be revoked by the
principal at any time. Execution of a new POA-F does not automatically revoke an old one. The
appropriate way to revoke a POA-F is for the principal to sign and date a document clearly expressing
the principal’s intent to revoke the document.
Reasons to revoke a POA-F include:
the principal changes his or her mind about any provision or special instruction included in the
the agent is abusing his or her fiduciary duty in some way (e.g., theft or mismanagement)
the principal wants to change who is named as agent or alternate agent for any reason;
the person named as the agent moves, becomes incapacitated or passes away and there is no
alternate agent named;
• the agent and alternate agent do not want to perform these duties;
the principal is dissatisfied with the decisions that the agent is making.
The preferred way to revoke a POA-F is to sign and date a written document revoking the POA-F
because it provides the best proof of revocation. The principal should sign and date the appropriate
revocation document, but does not need to have it witnessed or notarized. However, witnesses and a
notarized document may help in contentious situations or where the principal believes questions may
later arise as to his or her revocation of the document. Whether the document should be witnessed and
notarized is the principal’s decision. See a sample of a revocation letter below.
The principal should provide a copy of the completed revocation form to financial institutions,
investment firms, and all other interested persons who handle any or all of the principal’s assets. In
cases of contention or financial exploitation, the agent and alternate agent should be informed of the
revocation only after financial institutions and other asset management parties have been notified that
the POA-F has been revoked. Please note that in cases where the agent conducts daily or weekly
financial activity on the principal’s behalf, the principal may find out about the revocation relatively
quickly when a financial institution denies him or her access to the accounts based on the revocation. If
financial exploitation is a concern, ensure that steps are taken to inform all holders of the principal’s
assets as quickly as possible to prevent the agent from being able to access assets held at a location that
has not yet been informed of the revocation. Then send a letter (see sample below) to the agent
informing him or her of the revocation and his or her remaining duties to the principal.