The Wisconsin durable power of attorney (DPOA) is a document that enables one party, called the principal, to authorize another party, called the agent, or the attorney-in-fact, to act on their behalf and represent them before governmental, medical, financial, and other institutions and third parties.
The term durable indicates that the effectiveness and validity of the power of attorney are not affected by the principal’s eventual legal incapacitation.
The principal can use the durable power of attorney in every situation where they are unable to act personally. This includes situations where they have a physical or mental disability (like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease) or simply lack the professional knowledge to personally deal with certain matters (like taxes or procedures before the court).
Durable Power of Attorney Laws & Requirements in Wisconsin
Laws & Requirements
Signing requirements: The principal or another person in their conscious presence must sign the Wisconsin durable power of attorney. (§ 244.05)
Statutory form: The Wisconsin Statute provides the statutory form for the power of attorney at § 244.61.
“Durable” as defined by the state law: According to § 244.02(3), “Durable power of attorney” means a power of attorney that is not terminated by the principal’s incapacity.
How to Fill out a Durable Power of Attorney in Wisconsin
#1. Designate an Agent
Firstly, you should determine the person who will act on your behalf and represent your interests as an agent. The agent should be someone of legal age and with legal capacity.
Moreover, you should find someone you can trust, especially if you are planning to authorize them to make decisions regarding your finances and medical care. And finally, the agent should be located near the place where the concrete activity needs to be completed.
Here, you can also name the successor agent. They will act in case the primary agent loses capacity or is otherwise unable to represent you.
#2. Grant Authority
Once you have determined the agent, you should define their scope of authority.
The Wisconsin durable power of attorney provides three main ways for determining the agent’s scope of authority:
Scope of Authority
General authority. With this option, you will enable your agent to take all the necessary actions and interact with all third parties on your behalf. You can limit the general authority by providing a list of activities that are not included in the agent’s scope of authority.
Partial authority. Here, you can select the activities that you want to include in your agent’s scope of authority from the list of authorities provided in the durable power of attorney form. You can make the selection by signing your initials next to the relevant authority.
Special authority. This option gives you the flexibility to define your agent’s scope of authority in your own words. In this way, you can enter the activities that are not provided in the durable power of attorney form.
#3. Ensure the Form is Durable
The Wisconsin power of attorney is presumed to be durable by default, meaning that you should explicitly emphasize it in the document if you want your document to be non-durable.
#4. Sign the Form
The principal or another individual in their conscious presence should sign the Wisconsin durable power of attorney. No witnesses are required when signing the document.
#5. Notarize the Form
The Wisconsin durable power of attorney must be notarized. By notarizing the document, the notary public will confirm its authenticity and prevent potential disputes in that regard.
#6. Store Your Durable Power of Attorney Form
Once you finalize the Wisconsin durable power of attorney, you should keep the original copy in your possession and store it in a safe place.
Additionally, you can give one copy to the agent so they can prove their capacity to the third parties they are interacting with on your behalf.
How to Revoke a Durable Power of Attorney in Wisconsin
You can revoke the durable power of attorney by:
Reasons for Termination
Issuing the verbal revocation
Making the written revocation
Destroying the document with the intention of revoking it
Making a new power of attorney that will revoke the previous one
However, the best way to revoke the Wisconsin durable power of attorney is to issue a revocation letter.
This letter should include the name of the agent, the issuing date of the power of attorney you want to revoke, and any additional information that will help the parties individualize the document you want to revoke.