Can a Power of Attorney Change a Will?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants one individual (referred to as the agent) the authority to make decisions regarding the finances, property, or medical care of another person (called the principal). 

Lawyers or financial experts are not required to be agents. A dependable relative or acquaintance can be a POA. Assigning multiple people to act as co-POAs is also possible. Many people doubt,” Can a power of attorney change a will?”

Making a power of attorney is one of the most crucial actions in estate and eldercare planning. Power of attorney, however, is misunderstood by many people who believe it to be a complicated process or a privilege reserved for the very rich. Both of these assumptions are untrue, thankfully. 

Before learning about changing a will, it’s important to know about two main types of POA.

Universal and Limited POA


A universal POA and a limited POA are the two main types of POA.

A POA enables the agent to represent the principle always while adhering to state regulations. For instance, the agent may look after the principal’s assets and bank accounts, sign checks, purchase and sell real estate, and file taxes. ‘

A limited POA allows the agent to represent the principal in certain circumstances. For instance, this POA provides the agent control over the principal’s savings and retirement accounts. Alternatively, a limited POA can be in force during the two years if the agent lives abroad.

If you have appointed a power of attorney and are confused asking yourself, “Can a poa change a will?” the answer is NO. He can’t change it explicitly. However, he can make significant changes that alter the inheritance.

Is there any limitation in power of attorney?


The laws of each state in the US might vary slightly, and they control power of attorney to prevent him from acting in his interest. However, since most states ratified the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA) of 2006, there is some uniformity in the terminology. 

For instance, the UPOAA mandates that POAs take effect immediately after signing the document granting power. The POA terminates after the principal’s death, according to the act. 

If your state of residence complies with the UPOAA, all other states that do the same will accept and respect its rules. Before creating a POA or agreeing to serve as an agent for a POA, you must research state legislation in your area.

Can power of attorney change a will?


Writing a final will is only legally required if you are of sound mind and can make decisions. Additionally, the will must be in writing and does not often need to be drafted by an attorney, notarized, or witnessed. 

A POA may not amend or otherwise change the terms of a will that is lawful under the laws of your state. A POA cannot create or modify a will. Hence it is invalid. The POA typically expires upon the passing of the principal. The estate gets the principal’s legal rights. It clearly explains the question, Can someone with power of attorney change a will?

Power of attorney’s authority to change the estate


A person with POA can alter the circumstances surrounding a will even though they cannot alter the will as a whole. For instance, someone with universal authority could decide to take actions that materially change your financial circumstances. The assets you have specified for your heirs may suffer because of these actions. It further intensifies the doubt, “can power of attorney change the will?”

Here is one instance. Let’s imagine you specify in your will that your daughter will be the heir to all your cash assets and that your son would receive all your investments. Then you assign your daughter POA. 

Then, in the last year or two of your life, your daughter sells off every investment you have, saying she needs the money to take care of you and cover your costs. Whether or not she meant it badly, your daughter has intentionally deprived your son of his inheritance. 

How to prevent abuse from an agent?


There are, fortunately, measures to safeguard your estate, and yourself from mistreatment by your POA agent. The most crucial step is to choose somebody you know and trust to represent you. Then, have a conversation with this person to discuss your wishes to rule out any misunderstandings or errors in how you want him to carry out your wishes. 

You can list whatever many co-agents you like, and you can be precise about which powers each one possesses. For instance, you might choose a trusted friend and two of your children as co-agents. It can safeguard your interest when you wonder thinking, “Can a power of attorney change will”?

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Can the principal revoke POA? 

Yes. You need not give reason while stripping the power of attorney of his authority.

  • Scope of authority of POA?

 A POA can act within the scope of power delegated to him.

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Power of attorney is a document that authorizes a person to act on behalf of the principal. Until the POA operates honestly, you may sit back and relax. When he acts maliciously, you get doubts like “Can someone with power of attorney change a will?“. 

A power of attorney can’t change the will. However, he can make significant changes to affect the proportion of your share that will direct you to inherit.

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