Power of Revocation Law and Legal Definition

Power of revocation means the power to revoke the legal relationship created by a person with another through a contract. It is usually reserved in the instrument creating the contract. For instance, the settlor of a trust may revoke the trust where power of revocation is validly reserved. If a particular mode of revocation is specified, it is essential that the mode specified be strictly followed in order to make the revocation effective. Where the right to revoke is reserved and no particular mode is specified, any mode sufficiently manifesting an intention of the trustor to revoke is effective. Revocation may be affected by a devise of the corpus of the trust by a will if duly executed. However, whether a will impliedly revokes a revocable trust is a question of intention.

In Crumlish v. Security Trust & Safe Deposit Co., 8 Del. Ch. 375 (Del. Ch. 1899), the court observed that “The absence of a power of revocation is nothing more than a circumstance to be taken into account, and is of more or less weight according to the other circumstances of the case. Where the intent to make an irrevocable gift is perfectly apparent, or where even in the absence of such a clear intent, a sufficient motive such as the protection against the grantor's own extravagance, or the like for making such a gift exists, the settlement cannot be disturbed. But where the deliberate intent does not appear and no motive exists, the absence of a power of revocation is prima facie evidence of mistake. The mere reservation of a right of revocation is not inconsistent with a declaration of trust.”