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How Do I Create a Power of Attorney for Finances?

Posted on in Estate Planning

Milwaukee estate planning lawyer power of attorneyNo matter your age, it is important to plan for how your affairs should be handled if you are unable to take care of them yourself. One way of doing so is to create a power of attorney for finances, which will name a person who is authorized to make financial decisions for you if you ever become incapacitated.

Establishing a Power of Attorney

Power of attorney for finances can be established by filling out and signing a form provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, or a document can be prepared by an attorney. The form or document will allow you to name an agent who can make decisions about your finances and the property you own. The power of attorney should include:

  • The name and contact information of your agent, as well as any successor agents who you wish to name if your agent is not available or willing to act on your behalf.
  • Your permission to give your agent general authority in any or all of the following areas:
    • Real property - Buying, selling, leasing, or managing real estate, including making mortgage payments and paying property taxes.
    • Tangible personal property - Buying, selling, or managing your physical belongings.
    • Digital property - Accessing and managing your electronic accounts and digital files.
    • Stocks and bonds - Buying, selling, or exchanging investments.
    • Commodities and options - Buying, selling, or exchanging futures contracts.
    • Banks and other financial institutions - Making deposits or withdrawals from bank accounts.
    • Operation of entity or business - Managing your business interests and performing any ownership duties that you would typically handle.
    • Insurance and annuities - Paying insurance premiums, modifying insurance plans, and applying for benefits on your behalf.
    • Estates, trusts, and other beneficial interests - Managing any interests for which you are the beneficiary.
    • Claims and litigation - Filing civil lawsuits or claims on your behalf or representing your interests in court cases.
    • Personal and family maintenance - Making child support or spousal maintenance payments for you and meeting the financial needs of the family members you support.
    • Benefits from governmental programs or civil or military service - Managing your enrollment in benefits programs such as Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.
    • Retirement plans - Managing 401(k) or IRA accounts, including making contributions or withdrawals.
    • Taxes - Filing your tax returns, paying taxes owed, and collecting refunds.

You may also include special instructions regarding what your agent is or is not authorized to do. The power of attorney will become effective immediately after it is signed, unless you provide a date or describe certain circumstances for when it should go into effect. Unless you state otherwise, your power of attorney will be “durable,” meaning that it will remain in effect if you become incapacitated.

Contact a Milwaukee, WI Estate Planning Lawyer

At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, we can ensure that your power of attorney for finances will meet your needs. With our help, you will have the security that comes with knowing that your wishes will be followed if you are unable to manage your own affairs. Contact a Milwaukee estate planning attorney today at 414-271-1440 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/forms/advdirectives/f00036.pdf

https://www.wisbar.org/forpublic/ineedinformation/pages/powers-of-attorney.aspx

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/244

Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP

330 East Kilbourn Avenue
Suite 1170
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Phone: 414-271-1440
Fax: 414-271-7680
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