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Uniform Power of Attorney for Finances and Property Act

May 14, 2010

On May 12, 2010, Governor Doyle signed Assembly Bill 704, referred to as the Uniform Power of Attorney for Finances and Property Act (the "Act"), into law. The Act creates Wis. Stat. § 244 and replaces the former Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act and statutory form under Wis. Stat. §§ 243.07 and 243.10. The new Act addresses matters on which the former statute was silent, such as default rules for co-agents and successor agents, reimbursement and compensation, and agent's duties. Most significantly, the legislation provides that a power of attorney is effective upon execution unless the principal specifies otherwise. Additionally, the new Act provides greater protection and guidance for principals, agents, and third parties who are asked to accept and rely on power of attorney forms. Specifically, various provisions address who may petition the court to review the agent's conduct, agent liability, and concerns about authority that might be used to alter the principal's estate plan. Finally, definitions contained in the new Act now coincide with the defined standards for appointing a guardian in Wisconsin.

If you have any questions regarding the new Act or your Durable Power of Attorney, please contact a member of our Estate Planning Team.

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