Appleton, WI asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin

Q: Can I sign Wisconsin Power of Attorney documents, as the alternate agent, 9 years after they were drafted?

Power of Attorney documents were drafted for my father, with my sister and I listed as primary and alternate agents. I was living out of state when they were drafted, and didn't sign them, but everyone else did. Also, my address and phone number listed in the documents are not current.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Eau Claire, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: Hello, I cannot be certain without examining the document completely, but it sounds like you are talking about the line on the document where sometimes the Agent signs to acknowledge that they have been named as Agent (usually somewhere after the principal's signature). I know at my office it is fairly common for me not to have all the successor agents present when the principal (the person making the document) signs the document. In fact, I would say it is very rare to have both successor agents there. Regardless, the signature of the Agent does not make the document, valid, it is the signature of the principal that makes it a properly executed document. As long as your Father signed and dated the document, and has not revoked it since, then the document should still be valid and you can sign the document now if you are taking over as Alternate Agent. In addition, the fact that your address is not current should not effect the validity of the document. The phone number and address are usually listed just as a way to locate the agent. It is common for agents to move (sometimes many times) after the principal signs the document, so do not worry about this. If however, you want to get an updated power of attorney signed, you could work with a lawyer and your father could sign a new one that revokes the old one and includes your updated address and phone number etc. This would also update the document if you have any other changes you want made.

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