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Wisconsin Durable Power of Attorney Laws

In the unfortunate case that a family member or loved one becomes incapacitated, someone else may need to make decisions related to his or her health care, treatment, and whether to continue life support. Under Wisconsin law, there is a legal arrangement called a “durable power of attorney”that can allow those decisions to be made.

For example, a durable power of attorney can allow a named person (also called an "attorney-in-fact") to decide whether or not the patient should remain connected to a respirator. This is a quick introduction to durable power of attorney laws in Wisconsin.

Durable Power of Attorney Statutes

The chart below highlights Wisconsin durable power of attorney laws, along with details about the specific powers, legal requirements, revocation, and state-to-state validity. You should be aware, however, that if these decisions are already made in a living will, those must be honored. You can learn more in FindLaw’s Wills and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care section.

Code Section

155.01 et seq. Power of Attorney for Health Care

Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts

Designation of another for purpose of making informed decisions in the exercise of the right to accept, maintain, discontinue, or refuse any care, treatment, service or procedure to diagnose, maintain, or treat physical or mental condition. Feeding tube may be withheld or withdrawn unless it would cause pain. Agent may not consent to withholding or withdrawing of orally ingested nutrition or hydration unless provision is medically contraindicated

Legal Requirements for Durable Power of Attorney

(1) 18 yrs. and sound mind; (2) in writing; (3) signed; (4) dated; (5) 2 witnesses; (6) voluntarily executed; (7) takes effect upon finding of incapacity by 2 physicians; (8) substantially same form as §155.30; (9) may file with register in probate

Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney

Revocable at any time by (1) canceling or destroying document; (2) revocation in writing signed and dated; (3) verbal revocation in presence of 2 witnesses; (4) executing a subsequent power of attorney; (5) divorce if former spouse was attorney-in-fact.

Validity from State-to-State

-

If Physician Unwilling to Follow Durable Power of Attorney

Must make good faith attempt to transfer principal to complying physician.

Immunity for Attending Physician

No civil, criminal, or professional liability if acting in good faith

Related Resources for Wisconsin Durable Power of Attorney Laws:

Powers of attorney are serious matters, especially in the health care context. For additional articles and resources on this topic, you can also visit FindLaw’s Living Wills and Power of Attorney section. You can also contact a Wisconsin estate planning attorney if you would like legal assistance with a power of attorney matter.

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