Who is going to handle your financial affairs if you become incapable of handling them yourself?
Hopefully you not only know the answer to this question, but have also taken the necessary steps to make sure that person is authorized to do so. Those steps include you executing a Financial Power of Attorney document.
A Financial Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to authorize another person (agent) to handle financial matters for you. This power can be immediate (the agent is given the legal power to handle matters for you as soon as the document is signed) or “springing” (the agent’s power will not begin until you are certified incapable of handling your own affairs).
Most estate planning attorneys have designed standard financial power of attorney forms which clients sign. The language in these forms may differ from attorney to attorney, but the general thrust is the same. You are giving full authority to a trusted friend or member of your family to handle financial matters for you. It is critical that you completely trust the person you are naming.
Wisconsin has had financial power of attorney laws on the books for years, but they have become outdated. Wisconsin has now done a comprehensive overhaul of its financial power of attorney laws, and these changes went into effect on September 1, 2010. The new laws are much more complete and beneficial to Wisconsin residents. It will be easier for your agent to handle matters for you once the new law takes effect.
With the enactment of the new law, it is important that you know two things. First, any existing financial power of attorney documents remain effective, even if they were signed before September 1, 2010. Second, the new law may effectively change some of the provisions in your existing financial power of attorney document. If you already have a Financial Power of Attorney document, now is a good time to have it reviewed.
It is important that you have someone lined up to handle your financial matters for you if you are unable to do so yourself. If you do not have a financial power of attorney, now is the time to get one.
Menn Law Firm’s business group attorneys regularly draft Power of Attorney documents and advise clients on all estate planning matters. For further information on this topic or any other estate planning issues, please contact Attorney Doug Hahn at email@example.com . All our attorneys may be reached at 920-731-6631 to discuss the legal services you may need.
Is your business protected if a key employee leaves and goes to a competitor? We will give you an introduction to restrictive covenants in next month's article titled... "You Can't Take My Secrets."
It's new! It's better! It's packed full of information! Check it out!