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How To Make a Power of Attorney in Wyoming FAQ

Written by: Catherine Hodder, Esq. , Senior Legal Writer
Reviewed by: Madison Hess, J.D. , Legal Writer
Last updated May 23, 2024

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A power of attorney allows you to appoint someone you trust to act in your place when you can’t manage your own legal and financial affairs. Get answers to frequently asked questions about power of attorney documents and learn how to create a valid power of attorney in the state of Wyoming.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that authorizes a person or institution, known as an “agent” or “attorney in fact,” to handle legal and financial matters for another person, known as the principal. Wyoming’s power of attorney rules are in §3-9-101 to §3-9-403 of the Wyoming statutes.

Different types of power of attorney documents are used for different purposes. A financial power of attorney allows your agent to make legal and financial decisions and perform tasks such as paying bills, filing tax returns, and managing the principal’s real estate. A healthcare power of attorney allows your agent to make healthcare decisions and follow your wishes for end-of-life treatment and care.

If you suddenly become unable to manage your affairs and don’t have a power of attorney, your family members must petition a court for a conservatorship. The court then appoints a conservator to handle your affairs. Having already named an agent you prefer in a power of attorney avoids the need for a conservator.

Who Can Be My Agent?

Your agent must be a competent adult in Wyoming, but they can be whoever you choose, such as a family member, friend, or professional. When selecting a power of attorney agent, look for someone you trust who is also organized and responsible. Agents must avoid conflicts of interest, and they have a fiduciary duty to act in good faith in the principal’s best interest.

It is not a good idea to name co-agents in your power of attorney. If your co-agents disagree, nothing gets done. If they can act independently, they can contradict each other. Instead, name one person as your primary agent and another person as the backup or successor agent if your primary agent is unable to serve.

What Can My Agent Do in Wyoming?

Your agent in Wyoming can only handle the authorities you authorize, such as handling investments, accessing bank accounts, and managing the principal’s property. You may give your agent general authority over the following subject matters as outlined in §3-9-201 through §3-9-217:

  • Real Property (Real Estate)
  • Tangible Personal Property (Possessions)
  • Stocks and Bonds
  • Commodities and Options
  • Banks and Other Financial Institutions
  • Operation of Entity or Business
  • Insurance and Annuities
  • Estates, Trusts, and Other Beneficial Interests
  • Claims and Litigation
  • Personal and Family Maintenance
  • Benefits from Governmental Programs or Civil or Military Service
  • Retirement Plans
  • Taxes
  • Gifts

However, under §3-9-201, there are certain powers that you must expressly authorize because it has the potential to reduce your estate. You may want your agent to reduce the size of your estate to minimize estate taxes or to qualify you for government benefits like Social Security or Medicaid. These are the powers to:

  • Create, amend, revoke, or terminate a living trust
  • Make a gift
  • Create or change rights of survivorship
  • Create or change a beneficiary designation
  • Delegate authority granted under the power of attorney
  • Waive the principal’s right to be a beneficiary of a joint and survivor annuity, including a survivor benefit under a retirement plan
  • Exercise fiduciary powers that the principal has authority to delegate
  • Disclaim property, including a power of appointment

You may want to discuss your wishes for handling your money and property with your agent or leave instructions for them.

What Is a Durable Power of Attorney in Wyoming?

A durable power of attorney remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated. This means the POA does not end if the principal can no longer make decisions, ensuring ongoing management of the principal’s affairs. Under §3-9-104, a power of attorney is durable unless it expressly provides that it terminates by the incapacity of the principal.

When Is the Power of Attorney Effective?

Under §3-9-109, a power of attorney is effective when signed. However, a principal can make a “springing” power of attorney, which becomes effective upon the occurrence of a specified event, such as the principal’s incapacity.

When Does the Power of Attorney End?

A power of attorney terminates under the following circumstances:

  • Death of the principal;
  • Incapacity of the principal if the power of attorney is nondurable;
  • The principal revokes the power of attorney;
  • The power of attorney provides that it terminates;
  • The purpose of the power of attorney is accomplished; or
  • The principal revokes the agent’s authority or the agent dies, becomes incapacitated or resigns and the power of attorney does not provide for another agent to act under the power of attorney.

The agent’s authority terminates under the following circumstances:

  • The principal revokes the authority;
  • The agent dies, becomes incapacitated or resigns;
  • The agent is married to the principal and an action is filed for the dissolution or annulment of the marriage or for legal separations unless the principal states otherwise in the power of attorney; or
  • The power of attorney terminates.

Does Wyoming Have a Statutory Power of Attorney?

Yes. Under §3-9-401, Wyoming provides a statutory power of attorney form. However, you are not required to use the statutory form. There are other options for Wyoming POA, such as creating a power of attorney yourself or hiring an estate planning attorney.

Can I Make My Own Power of Attorney in Wyoming?

Yes. You can create your own power of attorney in Wyoming. Many people use state-specific online estate planning forms conforming to Wyoming law. However, if you have questions about making a power of attorney, it is best to contact an estate planning attorney for legal advice.

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How Do I Make My Power of Attorney Valid in Wyoming?

To make your power of attorney valid in Wyoming, you must follow the execution requirements outlined in §3-9-105. You must sign your power of attorney or direct someone to sign it on your behalf and in your conscious presence and have your signature notarized by a notary public.

Do I Have to Notarize My Power of Attorney in Wyoming?

Yes. A valid power of attorney in Wyoming requires a notary public to attest to the principal’s signature.

What Should I Do After Signing My Power of Attorney?

After signing your power of attorney, keep the original in a safe place. Provide copies to your agent and anyone else who may need it. A bank or financial institution may ask your agent to sign an agent certification form in which your agent certifies that your power of attorney is effective and they are authorized to act as your agent.

Does a Power of Attorney Agent Get Paid in Wyoming?

In Wyoming, your agent may receive reimbursement for reasonable expenses for actions taken under your power of attorney. Your agent may also receive reasonable compensation for their time if you provide for it in your power of attorney.

Is My Wyoming Power of Attorney Valid in Another State?

Yes. Generally, a power of attorney executed in Wyoming should be valid in other states, provided it complies with Wyoming’s legal requirements at the time of execution.

Can I Revoke My Wyoming Power of Attorney?

Yes. As the principal, you may revoke power of attorney at any time, provided you are mentally competent to do so. To revoke your power of attorney, make a written statement of revocation and provide copies to your agent and any third parties that relied on the original POA. You should also destroy your original POA.

What Estate Planning Documents Should I Have in Wyoming?

There are two other estate planning documents to consider in addition to a financial power of attorney for a complete estate plan.

A health care directive, which is referred to as an advance health care directive in Wyoming, combines a health care power of attorney and a living will. In your directive, you name a health care agent to advocate for you when you can’t. They handle your healthcare information, talk to healthcare providers, and make medical decisions for you. You can detail your wishes for medical treatments and life-prolonging measures you want or don’t want when you have an end-stage illness or terminal condition.

last will and testament is a legal document instructing others how you want your estate managed and distributed. You name someone as your personal representative to handle your estate and identify beneficiaries for your property and assets. You can also name guardians to care for your minor children. If you don’t have a will, you die “intestate.” A probate court then distributes your property and assets according to state laws and decides who cares for your children. A will speeds up the probate process which saves your loved ones time and money.

Fortunately, it is easy to make a valid Wyoming power of attorney and create other estate planning documents with online estate planning templates.

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