How can I be granted power of attorney for my parent?

power of attorney document for parent to sign for a childThere are a number of situations where a child would need authorization to make decisions for their parents; it could be part of a difficult medical diagnosis, estate planning process, or another situation. Whatever your situation, here are the basics a child needs to know when they need to become a power of attorney for their parent (a lawyer can give you more detailed information specific to your situation).

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal process where the parent authorizes a party (or parties) to make decisions on their behalf. There are two kinds of Power Attorney that can be named by a parent:

  • Power of Attorney for Finance and Property. The Power of Attorney for Finance and Property designates another person to make legal and financial decisions when a person (in this case, a parent) can’t. This document can limit those powers or grant a broad breadth to the “agent” (that person), dependent on the wishes expressed by the party (in your case, your parent).
  • Power of Attorney for Health Care & Declaration to Physicians. The Declaration to Physicians document states any preferences your parent may have regarding treatment or any life-saving measures they would like taken (or not taken) in the event of a medical emergency and gives the agent the power to make decisions in those situations. Examples of situations where a Declaration to Physician document would be used if the parent is in a deteriorating mental state, permanent vegetative state, unconscious, or in a coma.

When can the power of attorney be named?

A parent can name a power of attorney at any time, as part of the estate planning process or after a diagnosis. The parent must be able to understand what they are doing and the documents they are signing. The power of attorney named can be any competent adult, such as a spouse, friend, or child.

How can a child become a power of attorney for a parent?

For a power of attorney for finance and property, the document can be drafted to cover as much—or as little—as needed. The parent can give the child, their power of attorney, the power to sign tax returns or to completely manage their financial resources for as long or as short of a period as needed. Because granting power of attorney is a legal process and can drafted to fit a specific situation, the best way to get the process started and completed is to contact an attorney.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

Lambeau Field

LambeauAssociate attorneys Nicole Schrier, Ethan Geis and Alex Phillips went to an ethics training at Lambeau Field. As part of their experience, they watched a Packer practice and toured the Hall of Fame.

Child Support Myths Explained

Newborn baby hand with parent hand during child support modification caseThe issues of child support and custody are the basis of many of the questions that we hear in our office, and two of the most commonly misunderstood. That’s why we put together a list of common misunderstandings we hear about child support, and the real truth. To find out how these truths specifically apply to your situation, contact us for more information.

Child support automatically means paying money.

This myth may be true, depending on what the court decides. Some parents do only pay child support in cash. The court can also order a parent to pay non-cash child support, such as in the form of health insurance.

If I can’t or don’t see the child, I don’t have to pay child support.

Not true! Custody and physical placement are not necessarily connected to child support. Never stop paying child support until after you have talked to an attorney. Stopping child support without a legal basis can even lead to your arrest.

If I request a modification to my child support payments, I will have to pay less.

Maybe.  Requesting an adjustment to your child support can increase or decrease the amount, so be aware that you may have to pay more if you take this step. If you have any questions about child support and your rights, contact your attorney. 

If I move out of state, I won’t have to pay child support.

Completely false. As we said before, the inability to see the child does not mean you don’t have to pay child support. If you stop child support payments when you move, child support—and the consequences of not paying—follow you.

When I lose my job, I don’t have to pay child support.

This child support myth is true, but only if you take action to show that you cannot pay. Contact a lawyer to find out your next steps; don’t just stop paying child support, which can leave you open to penalties and possible jail time.

It’s always the dad who has to pay child support.

Totally false. Child support is determined by a number of factors, and gender is not one of them. If you are going through a divorce, many financial issues can be determined without going to the courts; read about these alternatives to litigation divorce.

The parent receiving child support has to show they are using the payment to support the child.

No. The parent receiving the child support payments does not need to show that they are using the money for the child.

Part time or second jobs are not included when calculating the amount of child support payments.

Not true. In Wisconsin, the amount of child support is calculated based on gross income from all jobs. If you have any questions about the process, contact a local, experienced attorney for information.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

Termination of Parental Rights in Wisconsin

Adoption placement agreement in case of terminating parental rightsTerminating parental rights is a process that we get a lot of questions about. It’s also a very misunderstood process, and one that varies from state to state. We’ve listed a few pieces of information specific to Wisconsin and what parents (and other related parties) should know when they are researching information about terminating parental rights.

Adoption is a common reason parental rights are terminated.

The courts do grant a voluntary termination of rights when a step parent wants to adopt the child. In this case, both parents request a termination of parental rights. A step parent then files a petition for adoption. Usually, one parent cannot make the request to terminate a parent’s rights without the consent of the other and the courts are very reluctant to terminate a parent’s rights; there are circumstances where this is not always the case.

There are grounds for involuntary termination of rights.

In some cases, a father or mother’s rights can be terminated in Wisconsin. Usually, the termination occurs because of abandonment, neglect, abuse, incest, etc. This action can be taken by the government or another private petitioner.

Not paying child support or not being a “good parent” is not usually grounds for terminating parental rights. There are exceptions; contact an attorney with experience in family law to find out what the answer and next step is relating to your specific situation.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.