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What Decisions Cannot Be Made by a Legal Power of Attorney?

Estate planning is essential for all adults. An estate plan provides information and instructions for how to handle your affairs before and after your death. One important aspect of an estate plan is a power of attorney. A legal power of attorney gives even more guidance and can help before your death in the event that you become incapacitated. It is essential to put an estate plan in place as soon as possible to give you and your loved ones peace of mind. An experienced estate planning attorney will help you with the process.

What is a Legal Power of Attorney?

A legal power of attorney, (POA)  is a person you designate to handle your finances in the event that you are unable to do so. If you become incapacitated, your designated legal power of attorney has the authority to act on your behalf in most of your matters. There are two main types of power of attorney in Wisconsin including healthcare power of attorney and financial power of attorney. A healthcare power of attorney makes decisions regarding your medical treatment while a financial power of attorney makes decisions about your finances. You may designate one person to take on both if you prefer.

What Decisions Cannot Be Made by POA?

A person you designate as your power of attorney has the capability of making many decisions on your behalf. However, there are some specific decisions that a legal power of attorney cannot make. The power of attorney cannot make changes to your will, also called your last will and testament. Only you can make changes, and to make them, you must go through the appropriate process.

A power of attorney cannot transfer his or her power to someone else. Once you designate someone to handle your affairs, they cannot turn over their power to another person. The person you designate must be the only one who has legal authority over your finances. When you designate power of attorney, make certain that the person accepts the task.

A power of attorney cannot keep making decisions after your death. The power of attorney designation is only in place while you are living. If you pass away, the power of attorney is no longer valid and your estate is handled through your will and through probate.

Choosing a Power of Attorney

When you choose someone to handle your medical and legal matters you want to make sure they are capable of making decisions on your behalf. You also need to ensure that the person you choose is willing to act on your behalf. Provide some information and details regarding your wishes, so the person is able to properly care for your affairs. A financial power of attorney has the legal authority to pay your bills and take care of all your financial accounts. They can also take care of your taxes and make decisions about your bank accounts. You will want to work with an estate planning attorney to set up power of attorney in Wisconsin.

When you are in need of setting up an estate plan or establishing power of attorney, we can help. Call us today at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. at (608) 784-8310 or contact us by email to schedule a consultation.

Published May 27, 2024
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