Granting someone a durable power of attorney is a significant decision that allows another person or entity to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf. However, circumstances may arise where you find it necessary to remove an agent from their role. In the state of Texas, there are specific guidelines and procedures to follow when revoking or removing an agent under a durable power of attorney.
A durable power of attorney can be revoked at any time as long as the principal who created the power of attorney is not incapacitated. The principal should first review their document as it may contain specific provisions regarding the removal or replacement of an agent. The principal should then execute a written revocation that explicitly states the intent to terminate the agent’s authority. Such written revocation should then be provided to the agent and any relevant institutions or individuals who may have relied on the agent’s authority. Although it is not legally required, it is recommended to record the revocation in the real property records in the county where the principal resides. This ensures a public record of the revocation.
In the event that the principal who created the durable power of attorney is incapacitated and is now unable to revoke the power of attorney, then formal legal action is required to have an agent removed. Under Chapter 753 of the Texas Estates Code, an agent may be removed by a court if it finds that the agent (i) breached his or her fiduciary duties, (ii) materially violated or attempted to violate the terms of the durable power and the violation or attempted violation resulted in a material financial loss to the principal, (iii) is incapacitated or incapable of acting as agent, or (iv) fails to provide a required accounting. Tex. Est. Code Ann. § 753.001. The power to request a judicial review of an agent’s actions under a durable power of attorney can be brought by the principal, agent, guardian, a person who is a named beneficiary of the principal, certain governmental agencies that have authority to protect the welfare or estate of a principal, any person who demonstrates sufficient interest in the principal’s welfare to a court, a successor agent named in the document, and any person asked to accept the power to serve as agent. Further if a guardianship proceeding has been commenced for the principal, then any person interested in the guardianship can also request the removal of an agent.
Granting a durable power of attorney is a significant decision, and the ability to remove an agent is equally important. Understanding the steps involved in removing an agent under a durable power of attorney in Texas can help ensure a smooth transition. Remember to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure compliance with legal requirements and protect your interests.
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