Financial Powers of Attorney

How Do I Revoke a Durable Power of Attorney In Texas?

by Rania Combs

A durable power of attorney is a written document that allows you to designate someone you trust to engage in specified business, financial and legal transactions on your behalf. It’s called “durable” because it does not terminate if you become disabled or incapacitated.

But what if the person you name as your agent becomes estranged? Or what if you discover that the person you named and trusted acted in a less than trustworthy manner? In such a situation, it’s likely that you would want to revoke the power of attorney and name someone else to serve as you agent.

Section 751.134 of the Texas Estates Code indicates that a durable power of attorney can be revoked; however, it does not provide specific instructions for accomplishing this. The statute provides:

“Termination of the agent’s authority or of a durable power of attorney is not effective as to the agent or another person who, without actual knowledge of the termination, acts in good faith under or in reliance on the power of attorney.”

How does this play out in the real world?

If a power of attorney has remained unused in a safe place and you have not recorded it in the court records, then destroying the power of attorney and creating a new one will serve as a revocation. However, if the power of attorney has been used or recorded in court records, then the revocation will not be effective as to third parties unless they have actual knowledge of the revocation.

This may require you to ask the agent to return the original power of attorney, contact every establishment in which the agent has used the power of attorney and file a revocation in the court records. To preserve your ability to revoke a power of attorney, you should keep it in a safe place until you become incapacitated.

Just be sure that whoever you name as your agent knows where it is located.

About Rania

Rania graduated magna cum laude from South Texas College of Law Houston and is the founder of Rania Combs Law, PLLC. She has been licensed to practice law since 1994 and enjoys helping clients in Texas and North Carolina create estate plans that give them peace of mind.

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  1. gary

    January 27, 2015 at 3:21pm

    Are copies of a durable power of attorney valid in Texas? Thanks.

    1. Rania Combs

      January 31, 2015 at 3:17pm

      The Texas statutory durable power of attorney provides: “I agree that any third party who receives a copy of this document may act under it.”

  2. To Spring or Not to Spring a Durable Power of Attorney

    March 2, 2015 at 11:36am

    […] For more information about revoking a power of attorney, read: How Do I Revoke a Durable Power of Attorney in Texas. […]

  3. wayne ceballos

    December 14, 2017 at 10:38pm

    What if the agent who has possession of the will and power of attorney claims that they “can’t find it” or have “misplaced it” because they fear they will be removed from the original will and power of attorney? What does the original giver of the power of attorney do then?
    Thank you.

    1. Rania Combs

      December 19, 2017 at 10:27pm

      It is possible to execute a new Will or power of attorney that specifically revokes all prior instruments.

  4. Laura Weddle

    July 28, 2018 at 7:04pm

    I would like to know if POA can be verbally terminated? Situation: my sister is in care of a friend that has dementia and individual was taken to her bank. She told the bank verbally she was terminating the POA. This woman is clearly not in a good mental state and now has left my sister’s name on this bank account and withdrew all her money. The account has utilities, insurance etc auto drafts that will be insufficient now. The bank told my sister it was perfectly legal for the demented individual to verbally terminate the POA. This is a big mess!

    1. Rania Combs

      July 29, 2018 at 11:20am

      The following article may answer your question: Can an Incapacitated Person Make or Revoke a Durable Power of Attorney?