How to transfer a power of attorney

Written by michaele curtis
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A power of attorney agreement allows someone else to act on your behalf in legal or financial matters. Many people use them when they need someone else to be able to sign off on paperwork or contracts in their name. You may have signed your power of attorney agreement with the idea that the person you chose would be the best choice. However, a change in circumstance can mean that you have to transfer your power of attorney rights to someone else.

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  1. 1

    Choose the new person who will have power of attorney for you. This person should be reliable and trustworthy, because they will have the legal right to make decisions for you. Many people choose relatives or legal representatives.

  2. 2

    Notify the person you will be transferring power of attorney from that you will be assigning someone new. Do this by certified letter if possible. You will need to retain proof that you notified that person.

  3. 3

    Have a lawyer draw up a power of attorney revocation document and an assigning power of attorney document. The revocation document will remove power of attorney status from your old holder and the other document will assign it to the new holder. Be sure that your lawyer has been informed of the specific reasons that you need this agreement; the type of power of attorney document you sign will depend on the scope of the power of attorney agreement (see Resources section). All parties must sign the document, and it should be notarised. All parties should keep their copy of the document in a safe place.

  4. 4

    Notify all organisations or institutions that will be dealing with your new power of attorney holder that you are transferring power of attorney. Depending on the scope of your power of attorney agreement, this will include your doctors and your banking institutions. Many of them require that you provide a copy of the legal documents you signed in Step 3.

Tips and warnings

  • If the old holder of your power of attorney has passed away or become incapacitated somehow, you do not have to send a certified letter to notify them. Consider sending a certified letter to the executor of their estate. You are not legally obligated, but it will help to have proof that you notified his or her estate of the change.
  • You do not have to have a lawyer draw up your power of attorney agreement. There are many do-it-yourself forms available for power of attorney agreements. However, you will still have to have it notarised in order for it to be a legal document.

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