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June 26, 2012, Tuesday

How to revoke a power of attorney

Sometimes your own decisions seem very silly after some time. A person is even sometimes in contradiction with him/herself. This is why it is a miracle if two people can get along very well. Human beings are already set for dispute.

Samuel Beckett is one of my favorite writers. A self-contradiction with the passage of time and a questioning of the self’s past performance reminds me his play “Krapp’s Last Tape.” In this play, Krapp is sitting in his den, lit by the white light above his desk. On his desk are a tape-recorder and a number of tins containing reels of recorded tape. The tape dates from when he turned 39. The voice on the tape is strong and rather self-important but is clearly him. The voice reports that he has just reviewed an old tape from when he was in his late 20s. It amuses him to comment on his impressions of what he was like in his 20s, and even the 69-year-old Krapp joins in the derisory laughter. The young man he was back then is described as idealistic, even unrealistic in his expectations. The 39-year-old Krapp looks back on the 20-odd-year-old Krapp with the same level of contempt as the younger Krapp appears to have displayed for the young man he was in his late teens. Each can see clearly the fool he was, but only time will reveal what kind of fool he has become.

We sometimes do foolish things and then we have to reverse them. I have received many emails with complaints regarding a person acting as proxy, asking how to revoke a power of attorney. In some cases a power of attorney is so broad that he or she can handle everything on behalf of the principal (the person who made the power of attorney). Can you imagine that you have a conflict with someone, and find out that they have a power of attorney enabling them even to sell your house at their sole discretion, at any price, to anyone they find to be appropriate? If you want to cancel this power of attorney? What should you do? What will happen if they sell your house, abusing this power of attorney?

Obviously, this person can sell your house freely because you gave this power to them. In the event that they abuse this power and sell your house then you can take legal action against them, both in criminal and civil court, for your loss.

Revoking a power of attorney

The person who granted a power of attorney can always revoke and withdraw this power of attorney. You are not required to show any reason for such a revocation process; your wish to do so shall be satisfactory.

First, this is not a do-it-yourself type of thing, and I would recommend you find a local lawyer. However, I can say that, basically, you should apply to a public notary and declare that you want to revoke the power of attorney earlier granted. The public notary will listen to you through a sworn translator (not all sworn translators make correct and satisfactory translation, please make sure that you have a good one) and take the minutes of what you say. What you say MUST include: your clear intention to revoke the power of attorney you gave earlier; the name of the person who holds the power of attorney you are revoking; the address of this person. It would be a good idea to provide a copy of the power of attorney so that the public notary can include all the details in this document.

Second, I want to give you some advice for your future transactions. Another way of revoking a power of attorney is to limit it with a deadline, and the power of attorney shall become automatically invalid through expiry. Such limitation shall save you money and time as you don’t have to send a notification in order to revoke a power of attorney.

I also have to mention a disadvantage of specifying the expiry date of a power of attorney. In the event that this expiry period is shorter than the period required to complete the transaction in which you are involved, you may end up providing a new power of attorney for the same task. This renewal shall certainly entail an extra cost and waste of time.

NOTE: Berk Çektir is a licensed attorney at law and available to answer questions on the legal aspects of living in Turkey. Please kindly send inquiries to [email protected] If a sender’s letter is published, names may be disclosed unless otherwise expressly stated by the sender.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is intended to give basic legal information. You should get legal assistance from a licensed attorney at law while conducting legal transactions and not rely solely on the information in this column.

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