Who Can Override a Power of Attorney
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Who Can Override a Power of Attorney?

The principal is always able to override a power of attorney, although it’s feasible for others to hinder an agent from misusing their power.

Who is legally enabled to override a POA is subject to the kind of POA in question and the reasoning why a termination is being sought.

A power of attorney enables an individual – the Principal – to appoint a trustworthy individual – the Agent – to take action on their behalf when they are unable to do so on their own — usually due to old age or diminishing health. A durable power of attorney doesn’t run out should the principal become incapacitated.

There are 2 primary kinds of power of attorney:

Financial — This power of attorney is the general POA kind. It provides your Agent the power in making financial decisions for you.

Medical  — This power of attorney provides the Agent you appointed the authority in making decisions about your health care should you be unable to do so.

The Principal is able to override either kind of POA anytime they want.

Nevertheless, other family members might be worried that the Agent (in a lot of cases a family member such as a parent, child, brother/sister, or spouse) is mistreating their rights and responsibilities by disregarding or taking advantage of their loved one.

In such cases, legal action can be taken by another individual other than the Principal.

An Agent that has power of attorney is legally obligated to act in the Principal’s best interest. When you think an Agent is exploiting their Principal and want to override power of attorney, you might need to challenge it in court and present proof that the Agent is being totally careless or manipulative.

The Way to Override a Power of Attorney

Overriding a POA is not a decision to be disregarded. It is going to require a close examination of the power of attorney documentation to establish if all responsibilities were followed to the t. Hiring an attorney that has knowledge in elder and/or disability law is suggested.

If you want to take power of attorney away from an individual because of mistreatment or carelessness. Examine the documentation with your lawyer and follow the steps below:

  1. Consult the Principal — If they’re mentally sound clarify your concerns about the Agent to them. They can take out or change their Agent vocally, but it’s preferred if they fill out an official revocation of power of attorney document.
  2. Reach out to the Agent — Using your attorney, request that the Agent step down if the Principal is not going to revoke the POA. Should the Agent refuse, the role goes to the Alternate Agent named in the document. when no Alternate is named, you are going to need to create a court application for a guardian and/or conservator for taking care of the interests of the Principal’s.
  3. Get Ready for Court — When the Agent refuses to step down, and a competent Principal declines to revoke the power of attorney, you are going to have to go to court. Your attorney can request that the court earmark the power of attorney and transfer guardianship or conservatorship to another individual while the case is underway.

When your case makes its way to court, don’t forget that you are going to likely be asked to:

  • persuade a judge that the Agent needs to be withdrawn
  • prove that the Principal’s wishes should be dismissed due to an unsound mind.

If an Agent will not step down or a capable Principal declines to withdraw their authority, a knowledgeable attorney is your best hope of proving to a judge they need to override a power of attorney.

An attorney can also work with professionals to establish the Principal’s mental competency, and serve as a trustworthy support in what can be a challenging experience for families.

Power of Attorney Rights and Restrictions

With power of attorney, your Agent is able to legally sign documents, make health care decisions, and carry out financial transactions for you.

Your Agent is legally responsible to act in your best interests. Therefore, it is so important to designate a suitable trustworthy Agent when devising a power of attorney.

Even when your power of attorney form grants broad authority, your Agent is unable to:

  • Alter or modify your will
  • Behave in a manner that isn’t in your best interest
  • Use power of attorney following your passing for making decisions (unless they are executor of your will)
  • Transfer power of attorney to another individual


  1. Who can override a power of attorney? rights and limitations. Legal Templates. (2021, January 6). Retrieved January 7, 2022, from https://legaltemplates.net/resources/estate-planning/who-can-override-a-power-of-attorney/

Choose the Right Attorney in Arizona

Regardless of the choice you make, it’s important you make the best choice for you when hiring an attorney. Remember: The decisions you make now can affect your future. Ultimately, choosing the best lawyer will depend on which lawyer feels best for you and your situation.

If you want to learn about Michelle N. Ogborne and see if she is the right attorney to represent you in your collaborative divorce in Arizona, contact us today!

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