New Power of Attorney Law in Wisconsin

July 21, 2010

On May 12, 2010, Governor Doyle signed the Uniform Power of Attorney for Finances and Property Act (the Act), which becomes effective on September 1, 2010. Under the Act, the laws in Wisconsin that address durable powers of attorney for finances and property will be significantly different from, and more comprehensive than, the current laws. The new law provides detailed guidance for agents and persons who either accept or refuse to accept a power of attorney. In addition, the new law contains an updated statutory power of attorney form.
Some key areas that are addressed in the new power of attorney law include:

An expanded identification and explanation of an agent’s duties under a power of attorney.

The powers that can be granted only if they are specifically referenced within a power of attorney.

The effect of a divorce or separation on a power of attorney that names the ex-spouse (or soon-to-be ex-spouse) as an agent.

An agent s duty to keep a record of all transactions.

The ability of an agent to make gifts on behalf of a principal.

The powers granted to co-agents under a power of attorney.

The effect of incapacity after execution of a power of attorney.

When a power of attorney becomes effective.

If you have questions regarding the above, please contact any of the attorneys in the Trusts & Estates Practice Group of Ruder Ware.

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