Can More than One Agent Be Named in a Durable Power of Attorney in Wisconsin?
Yes, but when two people are appointed by the principal to act as attorney in fact, it is important to determine if both have to act together or if either can operate independently of the other. This should be set forth in the instrument itself.
An agency conferred on two or more persons, in the absence of a clear showing of a contrary intent, must be exercised only by the unanimous action of the designated agents. However, the presumption will give way to a clearly expressed intention that the agents will have the authority to act independently (i.e., both severally and jointly).
Please see the following WI statute:
243.07 Uniform durable power of attorney act.
(1) Definitions. In this chapter:
(a) "Durable power of attorney" means a power of attorney by which a
principal designates another as his or her agent in writing and the writing
contains the words "this power of attorney shall not be affected by
subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal", or "this power of
attorney shall become effective upon the disability or incapacity of the
principal", or similar words showing the intent of the principal that the
authority conferred shall be exercisable notwithstanding the principal's
subsequent disability or incapacity.
(b) "Incapacity" means the inability to receive and evaluate information
effectively or to communicate decisions to such an extent that the
individual lacks the capacity to manage his or her decisions.
(2) Durable power of attorney not affected by disability. All acts done
by an agent pursuant to a durable power of attorney during any period of
disability or incapacity of the principal have the same effect and inure to
the benefit of and bind the principal and his or her successors in interest
as if the principal were not disabled.
(2m) Durable power of attorney not affected by passage of time. The
passage of time does not revoke a durable power of attorney unless the
durable power of attorney states a time of revocation.
(3) Relation of agent to court-appointed fiduciary.
(a) If, following execution of a durable power of attorney, the
individual who is the principal is adjudicated incompetent and a guardian
is appointed for him or her, a conservator is appointed for him or her
under s. 54.76, or another fiduciary is charged by a court with the
management of all or some of the principal's property, the durable power of
attorney executed under this chapter by the principal remains in effect,
except that the court may under s. 54.46 (2)(c) or s. 54.76 (3g) or, for a
fiduciary, after a hearing upon a petition, as applicable, for good cause
shown, revoke the durable power of attorney and invalidate the basic power
of attorney for finances and property or limit the authority of the agent
under the terms of the basic power of attorney for finances and property.
Unless the court makes this revocation or limitation, the guardian,
conservator, or other fiduciary, as applicable, may not make decisions for
the principal that may be made by the agent, unless the guardian,
conservator, or fiduciary is the agent.
(b) A principal may nominate, by a durable power of attorney, the
conservator, guardian of his or her estate, or guardian of his or her
person for consideration by the court if guardianship or conservatorship
proceedings for the principal's person or estate are commenced after
execution of the durable power of attorney. The court shall make its
appointment in accordance with the principal's most recent nomination in a
durable power of attorney except for good cause or disqualification.
(4) Power of attorney not revoked until notice.
(a) The death of a principal who has executed a written power of
attorney, durable or otherwise, does not revoke or terminate the agency as
to the agent or other person, who, without actual knowledge of the death of
the principal, acts in good faith under the power. Any action so taken,
unless otherwise invalid or unenforceable, binds successors in interest of
(b) The disability or incapacity of a principal who has previously
executed a written power of attorney that is not a durable power does not
revoke or terminate the agency as to the agent or other person, who,
without actual knowledge of the disability or incapacity of the principal,
acts in good faith under the power. Any action so taken, unless otherwise
invalid or unenforceable, binds the principal and his or her successors in
(5) Proof of continuance of durable and other powers of attorney by
affidavit. As to acts undertaken in good faith reliance thereon, an
affidavit executed by the agent under a power of attorney, durable or
otherwise, stating that he or she did not have at the time of exercise of
the power actual knowledge of the termination of the power by revocation or
of the principal's death, disability or incapacity is conclusive proof of
the nonrevocation or nontermination of the power at that time. If the
exercise of the power of attorney requires execution and delivery of any
instrument that is recordable, the affidavit when authenticated for record
is likewise recordable. This subsection does not affect any provision in a
power of attorney for its termination by expiration of time or occurrence
of an event other than express revocation or a change in the principal's
(6) Uniformity of application and construction. This section shall be
applied and construed to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the
law with respect to the subject of this section among states enacting it.
(6m) Relationship to power of attorney for health care.
If a portion of a durable power of attorney that is executed under this
section after April 28, 1990, specifically authorizes the agent to make
health care decisions on behalf of the principal, that portion of the
durable power of attorney has no force or effect and that portion of the
durable power of attorney instrument that is so executed and makes these
authorizations is invalid, unless that portion of the durable power of
attorney instrument conforms to the requirements of ch. 155.
(6r) Petition to review agent's performance.
(a) An interested party may petition the court assigned to exercise
probate jurisdiction for the county where a principal is present or the
county of the principal's legal residence to review whether the agent is
performing his or her duties in accordance with the terms of the durable
power of attorney executed by the principal. If the court finds after a
hearing that the agent has not been performing in accordance with the terms
of the durable power of attorney, the court may do any of the following:
1. Direct the agent to act in accordance with the terms of the
principal's durable power of attorney.
2. Require the agent to report to the court concerning performance of the
agent's duties at periods of time established by the court.
3. Rescind all powers of the agent to act under the durable power of
(b) If the principal has designated an alternate agent and if the powers
of the first-designated agent are rescinded under par. (a) 3., the
alternate agent is the agent and is subject to par. (a).
(7) Application. This section applies to powers of attorney created on or
after May 1, 1982.