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Power of Attorney in Brookfield, WI

Power of Attorney in Brookfield, Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, we have two kinds of powers of attorney - financial and health.  These powers allow someone else (your 'agent') to make decisions on your behalf if you're alive but unable to make these decisions for yourself.  As the two types suggest, one POA allows someone to make financial decisions on your behalf if you're unable to - balancing the checkbook, paying bills, etc - and another POA allows someone to make medical decisions for you if you're unable to make your own - life support (whether to give or withhold), surgery decisions, or nursing home care (where, if at all).

Having powers of attorney as part of your estate plan is very important because there is a real risk that you'll become incapacitated at some point in your life - especially because incapacity often occurs shortly before death is so likely.  If you just have a will or trust, someone would have to start a legal proceeding in front a judge called a guardianship in order to make decisions on your behalf.  And, since you're incapacitated, you have no say in who will make decisions your your behalf.

Some Tips for Picking Agents

The most important part of picking an agent is picking someone you trust who shares similar values with you.  A spouse is almost always the best choice.  Adult children are usually good choices too.  You can read more about how to make picking an agent easy in this article, Estate Planning Choices Made Easy.

You can pick different agents to perform different roles.  You can choose one person to manage your finances - maybe they're an account or an investing whiz - and someone else to make health decisions for you - maybe they're a medical professional or maybe they share the same faith as you.

They key is that you are always able to make your own decisions for as long as you're able to and, when you can no longer make those decisions, you picked someone you trust to help make sure those decisions for you.

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