Statutory Power Of Attorney
Q: I am an adopted (only) child who's mother a few years ago died. My father was soon after that looking on the Internet for a woman. Long story short, he found one and married her. I had a strained relationship with him during that time and now (were not really talking) and now I received, via certified mail and his lawyer a "Revocation of Power of Attorney", requesting me to sign as an acknowledgement. First question, is this complete rejection? I was his executor last I knew. Does this probibly mean I am not now or is this just because his wife should be for medical purposes?
A: You're comparing apples and oranges. A "power of attorney" has nothing to do with being named executor of someone's will. The power of attorney is a document that is only effective during the person's lifetime (or until revoked by the grantor), and basically allows you to "step into that person's shoes" to run some or all of his financial affairs (or, in the case of a "medical power of attorney", which is yet another different kind of animal, make medical care decisions for that person) as if you _were_ that person insofar as third parties you might be dealing with are concerned. A person, while alive, may grant different powers of attorney to different people, at the same time or different times, for a variety of purposes, and can revoke any of them at any time. The revocation is only effective as to the holder of the power when the grantor gives notice to the holder, else the holder would be able to continue in good faith to exercise it, not knowing any better. The certified mail letter you got was his notice to you that the power of attorney he had previously granted you were being revoked, and his asking you to acknowledge receipt of the notice is just that, an acknowledgement that you received it. You have no legal effect whether or not the power of attorney has been revoked if you refuse to sign -- all you will do if you don't cooperate is tick your father off and make it _more_ likely he will lose faith in you to act for him in other ways . Being the "executor" of a will is something that only "kicks in" after the person dies, and then only with the approval of the appropriate court or registrar of wills. The fact that your father asked you to acknowledge his revocation of a previously granted power of attorney has nothing to do with whether you are still nominated in his will as primary executor. He may have, indeed probably did, write a new will after his recent marriage; that doesn't necessarily mean he changed his mind about having you as executor but at least it gave him the logical opportunity to re-think who he wanted in that job. You could, of course, ask him if you are still the one he wants to act as executor of his will, if you think he would tell you; but he has no obligation to do so, or to reveal any of the other contents of his will to you, unless and until it is admitted to probate.
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