The Wisconsin power of attorney is a legal document that gives a person, known as an agent, the authority to act on behalf of another person, known as a principal, in various situations.
When the principal is unable to make decisions for themselves due to illness, injury, or other circumstances, having a power of attorney in place can give them peace of mind. This way, they will know that someone they trust can make important decisions on their behalf.
Understanding the different types of powers of attorney available in Wisconsin, as well as the legal requirements for creating and using them, can help ensure that principals' wishes are carried out if they are unable to make decisions for themselves.
Types of Power of Attorney in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Durable (Statutory) Power of Attorney Requirements
If the principal does not specify otherwise in the document itself, a durable power of attorney in Wyoming remains effective, and the agent's decisions continue to bind the principal even after the principal becomes incapacitated. (Section 244.04)
Wisconsin General (Financial) Power of Attorney Requirements
In Wisconsin, a general power of attorney grants the agent the authority to act on behalf of the principal in a broad range of financial matters, including managing bank accounts, paying bills, and handling other transactions. (Section 244.48)
The agent has the power to make decisions and take actions related to the principal's finances as long as it is explicitly stated in the document.
Wisconsin Limited (Special) Power of Attorney Requirements
As opposed to a general one, a special power of attorney is more limited in scope and only grants the agent specific and limited powers, usually for a particular purpose or transaction.
For example, a special power of attorney may authorize an agent to sell a specific property on behalf of the principal but not to manage other aspects of their finances.
Wisconsin Parental (Minors) Power of Attorney Requirements
This type of document allows a parent or legal guardian to designate another trusted individual to make decisions on behalf of their minor child(ren) in the event that they are temporarily unavailable or unable to do so.
With a parental power of attorney, the agent can make decisions regarding the child's education, health care, and general welfare.
Wisconsin Medical Power of Attorney Requirements
With this type of power of attorney, the agent's authority takes effect only when the principal's primary physician determines that they lack decision-making capacity. (Section 155)
The agent may make health care decisions only as authorized by the principal. Moreover, such decisions must be made in accordance with the principal's wishes and be consistent with the principal's best interests.
Wisconsin Springing Power of Attorney Requirement
A springing power of attorney doesn't take effect until a certain event or situation that is specified in the document happens in the future. (Section 244.09 (2))
This means that the agent's authority to act on behalf of the principal is "springing" or conditional and will only come into effect when the specified condition or event occurs.
Wisconsin Vehicle Power of Attorney Requirements
The agent appointed in this type of power of attorney can sign documents, complete forms, and conduct other transactions related to the vehicle, all on behalf of the principal.
Wisconsin Revocation Power of Attorney Requirements
A Wisconsin revocation power of attorney enables the principal to cancel or revoke an existing power of attorney.
It should clearly state that the principal is revoking the original power of attorney and that the agent no longer has any authority to act on the principal's behalf.
Wisconsin Tax Power of Attorney Requirements
The tax power of attorney grants the agent the power to receive confidential tax information, sign tax returns, request extensions, and make payments on behalf of the taxpayer (principal). The authorization can be for a specific tax year or period, or it can be a general authorization that covers all tax matters. (Section 244.56)
Wisconsin Real Estate Power of Attorney Requirements
A real estate power of attorney can be used to give the agent the authority to handle real estate transactions on behalf of the principal, such as authorization to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or manage the principal's real estate. (Section 244.44)
Legal Requirements for a Power of Attorney in Wisconsin
The legal requirements that the principal and agent need to fulfill regarding a Wisconsin power of attorney are as follows:
Age and mental capacity. The principal must be at least 18 years old and able to understand the purpose and effect of the power of attorney, the authority being granted to the agent, and the consequences of granting that authority.
Signing requirements. A power of attorney in Wisconsin must be in writing and signed by the principal. If they are unable to do it themselves, an authorized person may do it in the principal's presence. (Section 244.05)
Who Can Be an Agent for a Power of Attorney in Wisconsin?
The following people can be chosen as agents in Wisconsin:
Any person who is at least 18 years old and has not had a court declare them legally incompetent.
A spouse, domestic partner, family member, friend, or any other trusted person.
Any other person who is reliable, trustworthy, and capable of making decisions in the best interests of the principal.
How to Create a Wisconsin Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney in Wisconsin
#1. Decide on Which Type of Document to Use
Determine which type of power of attorney you need based on your specific situation.
#2. Select an Agent
Choose an agent whom you trust and who is willing to act on your behalf.
#3. Define the Agent’s Powers
Clearly define the scope of your agent's powers and responsibilities.
#4. Download & Fill in Our Form
Simply download our power of attorney form and fill it out properly.
#5. Get It Signed & Notarized
While notarization is not mandatory in Wisconsin, it is a good idea to have the document notarized to add an extra layer of authenticity and validity. However, the document must be signed by both you and your chosen agent.
#6. Safely Store The Original Copy
The original copy of the power of attorney document should be kept in a safe place.
#7. Provide Copies to Relevant Parties
Give copies of the document to the relevant third parties, such as banks, healthcare providers, or financial institutions, as needed.
#8. Update the Document as Needed
Remember to update the document as necessary if any changes occur or if you wish to modify any of the terms and conditions of the existing power of attorney.
How Long Does a Power of Attorney Last in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, a power of attorney can be effective immediately upon execution or upon the occurrence of a future event or contingency, as specified in the document. (Section 244.09)
If the power of attorney becomes effective upon the principal's incapacity and no determination of incapacity is made, the document remains inactive until such a determination is made. (Section 244.09)
A power of attorney terminates when the principal dies, becomes incapacitated (if the document provides for such termination), revokes the document, or when the purpose of the document is accomplished. (Section 244.10)
The agent's authority terminates when the principal revokes the authority, the agent dies or becomes incapacitated, or the agent resigns from the position. (Section 244.10)
Wisconsin Power of Attorney FAQ
A power of attorney is used when a person is unable to manage their affairs due to illness, injury, or absence.
A power of attorney grants legal authority to an agent to act on the principal's behalf.
In Wisconsin, a power of attorney does not need to be notarized to be valid.
Yes, a will is still necessary even if a person has a power of attorney. A power of attorney only grants authority to another person to act on the individual's behalf while they are alive. On the other hand, a will is a legal document that specifies how an individual's assets will be distributed after their death.