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Legal Procedure To Revoke A Power Of Attorney

The Power of Attorney (POA) is basically a means via which a person has the ability to authorise another individual to undertake decisions on his behalf regarding certain important aspects. The Power of Attorney Act 1882, under definition 1A states that In this Act, Power of Attorney (POA) includes any instrument empowering specified person, hereinafter referred to as the Attorney to act for and in the name of the person executing it, hereinafter referred to as the Executor/Principal. The Power of attorney has the powers enunciated and the Executor/Principal ratifies the acts of the Attorney.

POA is generally revocable however there are irrevocable POAs as well. Mostly, however, the use of a power of attorney is limited to situations wherein complicated legal situations can arise. Thus, even for cancelling or revoking a power of attorney, certain procedures must be followed according to the law. The Power of Attorney (PoA) is an instrument with which one individual authorises another to take decisions on his behalf regarding important matters.

Thus, such an instrument results in the creation of a relationship of the nature of a principal and an agent and therefore any individual who has been provided with the power of attorney, is legally bound for any decisions undertaken by the agent regarding the matter for which the PoA has been given. A PoA has also been defined under the Power of Attorney Act, 1882 which states that instrument empowering a specified person to act for and in the name of the person executing it. Therefore, in this case, an agent is referred to as the attorney-in-fact.

Procedure of Cancellation of the Power of Attorney

In order to cancel or revoke any Power of Attorney, there are certain specific steps which need to be followed in a particular manner in order to legally revoke such a Power of Attorney.

The steps for such revocation of the Power of Attorney have been enumerated below:
  1. Firstly, only a POA which is of a revocable nature can be cancelled after it has only been duly notarized by issuing a notice or a letter of revocation to the respective Attorney
  2. Such a letter of revocation must mention the reason for which this power (POA) is being revoked along with the effective date of revocation and the consequences of such an action therein.
  3. Such a notice of a letter must be duly served upon the Attorney for proceeding with the revocation procedure.
  4. Furthermore, a paper publication is also required to be sent after issuing such letter of revocation so as to inform all interested parties of the same.
  5. Moreover, a revocable Power of Attorney that is registered before a registrar or a sub registrar can be revoked through the Deed of Revocation, wherein such a deed is also required to be registered at the place of residence of the executor.
  6. Such a deed is required to comprise of the reason for such revocation, the effective date of the revocation and the consequence which may follow.
  7. After this deed has been drafted and registered, a copy of it must be sent to the Attorney in order to intimate him of such a revocation.
  8. Next, a paper publication must be necessarily made after issuing such a Deed of revocation for making sure that the public in general has intimation about the power having been revoked thereof.
  9. However, it is important to note that it is highly difficult to revoke an irrevocable power of Attorney particularly if the Attorney in question has an interest in the subject matter of the Power of Attorney.
  10. But in the case of a breach of the power, a revocation notice can be issued and in some specific cases even a court of appropriate jurisdiction should be approached in order to bring forth the revocation of the POA.
  11. However, the Power of Attorney also automatically stands cancelled or revoked in case of the death, insolvency or insanity of the executor in question or even the Attorney or in such cases wherein the primary purpose of the POA has been concluded.

When can you revoke a Power of Attorney?

As far as the revocation or cancellation of the Power of Attorney is concerned, there may be several instances via which this principal-agent relationship may be severed between the attorney and the authoriser. Even though there is no definitive law which governs the same, the procedure for such revocation has been drawn from the Indian Contract Act, 1872. Moreover, several courts in India have also provided their interpretation of the general principles given under the law and thereby applied the same to a Power of Attorney.

The numbers of ways through which such revocation can take place have been enumerated below:

Through the actions of the Principal
There exist many possibilities wherein an individual who has authorised another person for acting as his attorney brings the relationship to an end. These situations can be brought about through the express revocation of his authority, when the business of such an agency has come to an end, in case either the principal or the agent has been deemed to be insolvent or of unsound mind completely.

When the agent has an interest in the Agency
Under the Indian Contract Act, 1872, section 202 is applicable to such situations wherein the agent develops a personal interest in his agency in which case, such a relationship cannot be terminated without the due consent of such an agent.

Breach of Contract
Even though, at the time of the grant of a PoA, it is completely irrevocable in nature, however, in case of any gross mismanagement on behalf of the agent or in case of any breach of duty by such an agent or if he acts above and beyond his scope of power with regards to the PoA, the same can then be revoked.

Conclusion
Thus, we can categorise Power of Attorney (PoA) into two different kinds of documents, as general and specific. Thus it can be established that there are many situations wherein a PoA once registered, can also be revoked. As explained above, one of these situations is mostly the end of the relationship between the authoriser and the attorney. However, the process of cancellation of any PoA, revoked for whatever reason is the same as provided above.

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