section decoration triangle

Revoking or Changing Your Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

May I change my durable power of attorney for health care?

You may change your durable power of attorney for health care at any time by either destroying it or by executing a new durable power of attorney for health care. Executing a new durable power of attorney for health care automatically revokes the earlier durable power of attorney for health care, unless the new document states otherwise. Even so, you should destroy the old document in order to avoid the danger of others relying on it in error.

If you have given copies of the old document to your agent, health care providers, relatives, friends or others, you should retrieve those copies and destroy them. If someone will not return the document to you, you should give that person your notice of revocation in writing.

 

How do I revoke my durable power of attorney for health care?

You may revoke your durable power of attorney for health care at any time and in any manner. The general rule is that your revocation is effective when you simply express your intention to revoke your document.

An exception to the general rule for revocation concerns your attending physician. If your attending physician is aware of your durable power of attorney for health care, your physician must be informed by you, or by a witness to your revocation, or by another health care staff person who has been informed by a witness to your revocation. Absent actual knowledge to the contrary, health care personnel who are informed of the revocation may rely on the revocation and act in accordance with it. Health care personnel who are notified of the revocation must document the revocation in your medical record and may no longer rely on it.

While your written notice of revocation is not required, written notice may make it easier to prove that you revoked your durable power of attorney for health care. In your written notice of revocation, you should refer to the date you signed the document in order to be clear about which version of your durable power of attorney for health care you have revoked.

Unless your durable power of attorney for health care states otherwise, executing a new document automatically revokes an earlier one. If you have a court-appointed guardian, your guardian may also revoke your durable power of attorney for health care.

Return to table of contents

Make a Donation

Please give. To the best of your ability.