Wisconsin Durable Power of Attorney (Financial)

Last Updated: 7/2/2015

Document Description

It’s easy to think of estate planning as something that is needed after our lives are over. However, a thorough estate plan includes documents that provide for a variety of circumstances, some of which occur while still alive. If, for instance, you were to face an illness, injury, incapacitation or even an extended absence, you might require help managing your finances and property. A financial power of attorney can help you adequately prepare for those circumstances.

A financial power of attorney allows you, the principal, to grant power to a trusted individual, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, in a variety of financial areas. You can specify that the agent can make decisions for you in several areas or in just a few. Granting this power does not take away your right to manage your financial affairs. You can continue to handle matters as long as you like or are able, but the agent would also be able to do so.

The Wisconsin Financial Power of Attorney is a customizable document created in accordance with Wisconsin state laws. It enables you to name an agent and a successor agent if your first choice is unable to perform the required duties. It also allows you to assign which financial duties you would like your agent to perform, including accessing bank accounts and safe deposit boxes, applying for and receiving government benefits, contributing to retirement plans and completing tax returns, just to name a few. You can also add any special instructions limiting or extending the agent’s powers.

Because this document is considered durable, it contains language that indicates it is to take effect immediately and is not affected by any future mental or physical disability you might have. You may also have it take effect when it is determined that you are unable to manage your property and financial affairs. If you select this option, a physician would have to make that determination in writing.

Although not required, you should have your Wisconsin Financial Power of Attorney witnessed and notarized. You should provide copies of your signed Wisconsin Financial Power of Attorney to your agent, family members and financial institutions and businesses with which your agent will be dealing on your behalf. You can also upload a copy to your ezEstatePlanner Vault, which allows storage of your estate planning documents so that they may be accessed in one secure location.

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