If you're looking to give someone legal authority to act on your behalf in various situations, you might want to consider creating a general power of attorney (POA) document. In Wisconsin, a general POA allows someone else, also known as an agent or attorney-in-fact, to handle your financial and legal affairs while you're still alive. This article will cover everything you need to know about creating a general POA in Wisconsin, including the legal requirements, the different types of POA, and how to choose an agent.
What is a General Power of Attorney?
A general power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf in a variety of situations. With a general POA, your agent can do things like pay bills, manage your finances, and even make legal decisions for you. The agent's authority can be broad or limited, depending on the language in the POA document.
Understanding Wisconsin Law
In Wisconsin, a POA document must meet certain legal requirements to be valid. The document must be in writing, signed by the principal (the person giving the authority), and witnessed by two people who are not related to the principal or the agent. The agent must also sign the document, acknowledging their responsibilities and obligations under the POA.
Different Types of Power of Attorney
There are several different types of power of attorney that you can create in Wisconsin. The most common types include:
General Power of Attorney: As previously mentioned, a general POA gives your agent broad authority to act on your behalf.
Durable Power of Attorney: A durable POA is similar to a general POA, but it remains in effect even if you become incapacitated.
Limited Power of Attorney: A limited POA gives your agent authority to handle specific tasks or make specific decisions on your behalf.
Springing Power of Attorney: A springing POA only goes into effect if certain conditions are met, such as if you become incapacitated.
It's important to choose the right type of POA for your specific needs, and to work with an experienced attorney to make sure your document meets all legal requirements.
Choosing an Agent
Choosing the right agent is crucial when creating a general POA. Your agent will have significant authority over your financial and legal affairs, so it's important to choose someone you trust and who has the knowledge and experience to handle these responsibilities. You can choose anyone to be your agent, as long as they are at least 18 years old and are not a convicted felon.
It's also important to have a conversation with your agent about your wishes and expectations. Make sure they understand their responsibilities and obligations under the POA, and that they are willing to take on these responsibilities.
Contact a General Power of Attorney Lawyer in Wisconsin
If you're considering creating a general power of attorney in Wisconsin, it's important to work with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your legal options and create a document that meets your specific needs. At Heritage Law Office, our experienced attorneys can help you create a comprehensive and legally sound POA document that gives you and your agent peace of mind. Contact us today at 414-253-8500 or by sending us a message to schedule a free consultation.
Cities where Services are Offered
Heritage Law Office offers services throughout Wisconsin, including in the following cities:
- Green Bay
- Eau Claire
- Elm Grove
- Fox Point
- Whitefish Bay
- And more
We also offer remote, phone, and online appointments, so you can receive our services from anywhere in Wisconsin. Don't hesitate to contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can assist you with your legal needs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is a General Power of Attorney?
A General Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants one person (the agent) the authority to act on behalf of another person (the principal). This can include activities such as paying bills, managing finances, and making legal decisions. The scope of the agent's authority can be broad or specific, depending on the terms laid out in the Power of Attorney document.
2. What are the requirements for a valid Power of Attorney in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, a Power of Attorney must meet several legal criteria to be valid. These include: it must be in writing, signed by the principal, and witnessed by two unrelated individuals. Additionally, the chosen agent must also sign the document, indicating their acceptance of the responsibilities and obligations defined in the Power of Attorney.
3. What are the different types of Power of Attorney available in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin allows for several different types of Power of Attorney. These include a General Power of Attorney, which provides the agent with broad authority; a Durable Power of Attorney, which remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated; a Limited Power of Attorney, granting the agent the power to carry out specific tasks; and a Springing Power of Attorney, which only takes effect under certain circumstances, such as the incapacitation of the principal.
4. How can I choose an appropriate agent for my Power of Attorney?
Choosing the right agent for your Power of Attorney is a critical step. The chosen individual should be someone you trust and who possesses the necessary skills and experience to handle the responsibilities involved. This could be a friend, family member, or professional. They must be at least 18 years old and not a convicted felon. It's also crucial to have a clear discussion with your chosen agent about your expectations and wishes regarding their role.
5. How can Heritage Law Office help me with my Power of Attorney needs in Wisconsin?
Heritage Law Office has a team of experienced attorneys who can guide you through the process of creating a Power of Attorney in Wisconsin. We offer a free consultation and can assist you in understanding your legal options and crafting a Power of Attorney document that meets your specific needs. We offer our services throughout Wisconsin and can also arrange for remote, phone, or online consultations.