Power of Attorney for Finances
Legal Disclaimer: The following is basic legal information, provided as a public service by Wyoming’s lawyers. The information provided is not a substitute for speaking to an attorney. Only an attorney can give you legal advice regarding your specific situation. Click here for help finding a lawyer.
- What are powers of attorney?
- Why would I grant someone a power of attorney?
- Are there different types of powers of attorney?
- What is a durable power of attorney?
- What is a power of attorney for health care decisions?
- Whom should I appoint as my agent?
- Do I need a lawyer to make a power of attorney?
- Should I talk to my family about these issues?
- Can I change my mind after I have made a power of attorney?
- How do I complete a power of attorney?
A power of attorney lets another person make decisions on your behalf. You can grant a person your power of attorney to buy and sell your property, pay your bills, change your will, or any other power that you specifically choose to give them.
There are good reasons you might want to grant someone your power of attorney. For instance, you may want a person to manage your property and finances in case you ever become too ill to do so. Or you might need someone to manage your affairs while you are gone for an extended period of time, such as an absence due to military service. In any case, it is important that you trust the person who has your power of attorney because it gives them a great deal of authority.
There are two basic types of powers of attorney in Wyoming, a power of attorney for finances and a power of attorney for health care decisions. A power of attorney for health care is often called an advance directive. You can find information on advance directives here.
A "durable" power of attorney is a power of attorney for finances that continues after you become too ill or disabled to make decisions. In Wyoming, all new powers of attorney for finances are durable unless the document says otherwise.
A power of attorney for health care allows you to designate a person to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself. The person you select as your agent will be authorized to make all health care decisions for you unless you limit the agent's authority in the document. In Wyoming, a power of attorney for health care is considered a type of advance directive. You can find information on advance directives here.
The person to whom you grant your power of attorney is called your "agent". Your agent should be an adult whom you trust completely and who is able to manage your finances. Any person you appoint will also have to agree to be your agent, so it should be someone who is willing to take on the responsibility.
A lawyer can be very helpful in answering questions and helping you complete a power of attorney, but a lawyer is not required. You should speak to a lawyer if you have any questions or do not understand any part of the power of attorney. Because powers of attorney give others a great deal of power over your property and finances, the advice of a lawyer is usually recommended.
You should discuss your desires with the people that are close to you so they understand your wishes. A durable power of attorney gives a person a great deal of power over your property and finances, so it is important for your family and the person you appoint as your agent to understand your values when acting on your behalf. Make sure the person you appoint as your agent is willing to take on that responsibility and understands what your wishes are.
You may change or cancel your power of attorney at any time. If you want to cancel your power of attorney, you must revoke it in writing. If you want to make changes, you may complete a new power of attorney which will replace the previous one.
If you change or cancel a power of attorney, it is important to notify everyone that has a copy and provide them with the new version or revocation. This helps to ensure that your current wishes are known and respected.
If you would like to complete a power of attorney for finances, you may contact an attorney. Click here for help finding a lawyer.
It is best to seek advice and assistance from a lawyer in completing a power of attorney, but you may complete a power of attorney without a lawyer if you choose. Click here for the statutory durable power of attorney form. This statutory form meets the minimum requirements for granting a power of attorney in Wyoming.