2017 Wyoming Statutes
TITLE 3 - GUARDIAN AND WARD
CHAPTER 9 - UNIFORM POWER OF ATTORNEY ACT
ARTICLE 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
SECTION 3-9-101 - Short title. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

Universal Citation: WY Stat § 3-9-101 (2017)

3-9-101. Short title. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

This act may be cited as the "Uniform Power of Attorney Act."

3-9-102. Definitions. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

(a) As used in this act:

(i) "Agent" means a person granted authority to act for a principal under a power of attorney whether denominated an agent, attorney-in-fact or otherwise. "Agent" includes an original agent, coagent, successor agent and a person to which an agent's authority is delegated;

(ii) "Durable," with respect to a power of attorney, means not terminated by the principal's incapacity;

(iii) "Electronic" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic or similar capabilities;

(iv) "Good faith" means honesty in fact;

(v) "Incapacity" means inability of a person to manage property or business affairs because the person:

(A) Has an impairment in the ability to receive and evaluate information or make or communicate decisions even with the use of technological assistance; or

(B) Is:

(I) Missing;

(II) Detained, including incarcerated in a penal system; or

(III) Outside the United States and unable to return.

(vi) "Power of attorney" means a writing or other record that grants authority to an agent to act in the place of the principal whether or not the term power of attorney is used;

(vii) "Presently exercisable general power of appointment," with respect to property or a property interest subject to a power of appointment, means power exercisable at the time in question to vest absolute ownership in the principal individually, the principal's estate, the principal's creditors or the creditors of the principal's estate. "Presently exercisable general power of appointment" includes a power of appointment not exercisable until the occurrence of a specified event, the satisfaction of an ascertainable standard or the passage of a specified period but only after the occurrence of the specified event, the satisfaction of the ascertainable standard or the passage of the specified period. "Presently exercisable general power of appointment" does not include a power exercisable in a fiduciary capacity or a power exercisable only by will;

(viii) "Principal" means a person who grants authority to an agent in a power of attorney;

(ix) "Property" means anything that may be the subject of ownership whether real or personal, or legal or equitable, or any interest or right therein;

(x) "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form;

(xi) "Sign" means, with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record, to:

(A) Execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or

(B) Attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic sound, symbol or process.

(xii) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States;

(xiii) "Stocks and bonds" means stocks, bonds, mutual funds and all other types of securities and financial instruments whether held directly, indirectly or in any other manner. "Stocks and bonds" does not include commodity futures contracts and call or put options on stocks or stock indexes;

(xiv) "This act" means W.S. 3-9-101 through 3-9-403.

3-9-103. Applicability. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

(a) This act applies to all powers of attorney except:

(i) A power to the extent it is coupled with an interest in the subject of the power, including a power given to or for the benefit of a creditor in connection with a credit transaction;

(ii) A power to make health care decisions;

(iii) A proxy or other delegation to exercise voting rights or management rights with respect to an entity;

(iv) A power created on a form prescribed by a government or governmental subdivision, agency or instrumentality for a governmental purpose.

3-9-104. Power of attorney is durable. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

(a) A power of attorney created on or after the effective date of this act is durable unless it expressly provides that it is terminated by the incapacity of the principal.

(b) A power of attorney existing on the effective date of this act is durable only if on that day the power of attorney is durable in accordance with the law existing on the day of execution of the power of attorney.

3-9-105. Execution of power of attorney. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

A power of attorney shall be signed by the principal or in the principal's conscious presence by another person who is directed by the principal to sign the principal's name on the power of attorney. A signature on a power of attorney is presumed to be genuine if the principal acknowledges the signature before a notary public or other person authorized by law to take acknowledgments.

3-9-106. Validity of power of attorney. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

(a) A power of attorney executed in this state on or after the effective date of this act is valid if its execution complies with W.S. 3-9-105.

(b) A power of attorney executed in this state before the effective date of this act is valid if its execution complied with the law of this state as it existed at the time of execution.

(c) A power of attorney executed other than in this state is valid in this state if, when the power of attorney was executed, the execution complied with the:

(i) Law of the jurisdiction that determines the meaning and effect of the power of attorney pursuant to W.S. 3-9-107; or

(ii) Requirements of W.S. 19-11-202 or any requirements for a military power of attorney pursuant to 10 U.S.C. section 1044b.

(d) Except as otherwise provided by law other than this act, a photocopy or electronically transmitted copy of an original power of attorney has the same effect as the original.

3-9-107. Meaning and effect of power of attorney. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

The meaning and effect of a power of attorney is determined by the law of the jurisdiction indicated in the power of attorney and, in the absence of an indication of jurisdiction, by the law of the jurisdiction in which the power of attorney was executed.

3-9-108. Nomination of conservator or guardian; relation of agent to court appointed fiduciary. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

(a) In a power of attorney, a principal may nominate a conservator of the principal's estate or guardian of the principal's person for consideration by the court if protective proceedings for the principal's estate or person are begun after the principal executes the power of attorney. Except for good cause shown or disqualification, the court shall make its appointment in accordance with the principal's most recent nomination.

(b) If, after a principal executes a power of attorney, a court appoints a conservator of the principal's estate or other fiduciary charged with the management of some or all of the principal's property, the agent is accountable to the fiduciary as well as to the principal. The power of attorney is not terminated and the agent's authority continues unless limited, suspended or terminated by the court.

3-9-109. When power of attorney effective. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

(a) A power of attorney is effective when executed unless the principal provides in the power of attorney that it becomes effective at a future date or upon the occurrence of a future event or contingency.

(b) If a power of attorney becomes effective upon the occurrence of a future event or contingency, the principal, in the power of attorney, may authorize one (1) or more persons to determine in a writing or other record that the event or contingency has occurred.

(c) If a power of attorney becomes effective upon the principal's incapacity and the principal has not authorized a person to determine whether the principal is incapacitated, or the person authorized is unable or unwilling to make the determination, the power of attorney becomes effective upon a determination in a writing or other record by:

(i) A physician or licensed psychologist that the principal is incapacitated within the meaning of W.S. 3-9-102(a)(v)(A); or

(ii) An attorney at law, a judge or an appropriate governmental official that the principal is incapacitated within the meaning of W.S. 3-9-102(a)(v)(B).

(d) A person authorized by the principal in the power of attorney to determine that the principal is incapacitated may act as the principal's personal representative pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, sections 1171 through 1179 of the Social Security Act, and applicable regulations, to obtain access to the principal's health care information and communicate with the principal's health care provider.

3-9-110. Termination of power of attorney or agent's authority. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

(a) A power of attorney terminates when the:

(i) Principal dies;

(ii) Principal becomes incapacitated, if the power of attorney is not durable;

(iii) Principal revokes the power of attorney;

(iv) Power of attorney provides that it terminates;

(v) Purpose of the power of attorney is accomplished; or

(vi) 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.

(b) An agent's authority terminates when:

(i) The principal revokes the authority;

(ii) The agent dies, becomes incapacitated or resigns;

(iii) An action is filed for the dissolution or annulment of the agent's marriage to the principal or an action is filed for legal separation, unless the power of attorney otherwise provides; or

(iv) The power of attorney terminates.

(c) Unless the power of attorney otherwise provides, an agent's authority is exercisable until the authority terminates under subsection (b) of this section, notwithstanding a lapse of time since the execution of the power of attorney.

(d) Termination of an agent's authority or of a power of attorney is not effective as to the agent or another person that, without actual knowledge of the termination, acts in good faith under the power of attorney. An act so performed, unless otherwise invalid or unenforceable, binds the principal and the principal's successors in interest.

(e) Incapacity of the principal of a power of attorney that is not durable does not revoke or terminate the power of attorney as to an agent or other person that, without actual knowledge of the incapacity, acts in good faith under the power of attorney. An act so performed, unless otherwise invalid or unenforceable, binds the principal and the principal's successors in interest.

(f) The execution of a power of attorney does not revoke a power of attorney previously executed by the principal unless the subsequent power of attorney provides that the previous power of attorney is revoked or that all other powers of attorney are revoked.

3-9-111. Coagents and successor agents. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

(a) A principal may designate two (2) or more persons to act as coagents. Unless the power of attorney otherwise provides, each coagent may exercise its authority independently.

(b) A principal may designate one (1) or more successor agents to act if an agent resigns, dies, becomes incapacitated, is not qualified to serve or declines to serve. A principal may grant authority to designate one (1) or more successor agents to an agent or other person designated by name, office or function. Unless the power of attorney otherwise provides, a successor agent:

(i) Has the same authority as that granted to the original agent;

(ii) May not act until all predecessor agents have resigned, died, become incapacitated, are no longer qualified to serve or have declined to serve.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in the power of attorney and subsection (d) of this section, an agent that does not participate in or conceal a breach of fiduciary duty committed by another agent, including a predecessor agent, is not liable for the actions of the other agent.

(d) An agent that has actual knowledge of a breach or imminent breach of fiduciary duty by another agent shall notify the principal and, if the principal is incapacitated, take any action reasonably appropriate in the circumstances to safeguard the principal's best interest. An agent that fails to notify the principal or take action as required by this subsection is liable for the reasonably foreseeable damages that could have been avoided if the agent had notified the principal or taken such action.

3-9-112. Reimbursement and compensation of agent. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

Unless the power of attorney otherwise provides, an agent is entitled to reimbursement of expenses reasonably incurred on behalf of the principal and to compensation that is reasonable under the circumstances.

3-9-113. Agent's acceptance. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

Except as otherwise provided in the power of attorney, a person accepts appointment as an agent under a power of attorney by exercising authority or performing duties as an agent or by any other assertion or conduct indicating acceptance.

3-9-114. Agent's duties. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

(a) Notwithstanding any provisions in the power of attorney, an agent that has accepted appointment shall act:

(i) In accordance with the principal's reasonable expectations to the extent actually known by the agent and, otherwise, in the principal's best interest;

(ii) In good faith;

(iii) Only within the scope of authority granted in the power of attorney.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in the power of attorney, an agent that has accepted appointment shall:

(i) Act loyally for the principal's benefit;

(ii) Act so as not to create a conflict of interest that impairs the agent's ability to act impartially in the principal's best interest;

(iii) Act with the care, competence and diligence ordinarily exercised by agents in similar circumstances;

(iv) Keep a record of all receipts, disbursements and transactions made on behalf of the principal;

(v) Cooperate with any person that has authority to make health care decisions for the principal to carry out the principal's reasonable expectations to the extent actually known by the agent and, otherwise, act in the principal's best interest;

(vi) Attempt to preserve the principal's estate plan, to the extent actually known by the agent, if preserving the plan is consistent with the principal's best interest based on all relevant factors, including:

(A) The value and nature of the principal's property;

(B) The principal's foreseeable obligations and need for maintenance of the property;

(C) Minimization of taxes, including income, estate, inheritance, generation skipping transfer and gift taxes;

(D) Eligibility for a benefit, program or assistance under a statute or regulation.

(c) An agent that acts in good faith is not liable to any beneficiary of the principal's estate plan for failure to preserve the plan.

(d) An agent that acts with care, competence and diligence for the best interest of the principal is not liable solely because the agent also benefits from the act or has an individual or conflicting interest in relation to the property or affairs of the principal.

(e) If an agent is selected by the principal because of special skills or expertise possessed by the agent or in reliance on the agent's representation that the agent has special skills or expertise, the special skills or expertise shall be considered in determining whether the agent has acted with care, competence and diligence under the circumstances.

(f) Absent a breach of duty to the principal, an agent is not liable if the value of the principal's property declines.

(g) An agent that exercises authority to delegate to another person the authority granted by the principal or that engages another person on behalf of the principal is not liable for an act, error of judgment or default of that person if the agent exercises care, competence and diligence in selecting and monitoring the person.

(h) Except as otherwise provided in the power of attorney, an agent is not required to disclose receipts, disbursements or transactions conducted on behalf of the principal unless ordered by a court or requested by the principal, a guardian, a conservator, another fiduciary acting for the principal, a governmental agency having authority to protect the welfare of the principal or, upon the death of the principal, by the personal representative or successor in interest of the principal's estate. If so requested, within thirty (30) days the agent shall comply with the request or provide a writing or other record substantiating why additional time is needed and shall comply with the request within an additional thirty (30) days.

3-9-115. Exoneration of agent. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

(a) A provision in a power of attorney relieving an agent of liability for breach of duty is binding on the principal and the principal's successors in interest except to the extent the provision:

(i) Relieves the agent of liability for breach of duty committed dishonestly, with an improper motive or with reckless indifference to the purposes of the power of attorney or the best interest of the principal; or

(ii) Was inserted as a result of an abuse of a confidential or fiduciary relationship with the principal.

3-9-116. Judicial relief. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

(a) The following persons may petition a court to construe a power of attorney or review the agent's conduct and grant appropriate relief:

(i) The principal or the agent;

(ii) A guardian, conservator or other fiduciary acting for the principal;

(iii) A person authorized to make health care decisions for the principal;

(iv) The principal's spouse, parent or descendant;

(v) A person who would qualify as a presumptive heir of the principal;

(vi) A person named as a beneficiary to receive any property, benefit or contractual right on the principal's death or as a beneficiary of a trust created by or for the principal that has a financial interest in the principal's estate;

(vii) The principal's caregiver or another person that demonstrates sufficient interest in the principal's welfare;

(viii) A person asked to accept the power of attorney.

(b) Upon motion by the principal, the court shall dismiss a petition filed under this section unless the court finds that the principal lacks capacity to revoke the agent's authority or the power of attorney.

3-9-117. Agent's liability. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

(a) An agent that violates this act is liable to the principal or the principal's successors in interest for the amount required to:

(i) Restore the value of the principal's property to what it would have been had the violation not occurred; and

(ii) Reimburse the principal or the principal's successors in interest for the attorney's fees and costs paid on the agent's behalf.

3-9-118. Agent's resignation; notice. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

(a) Unless the power of attorney otherwise provides, an agent may resign by giving notice to the principal and, if the principal is incapacitated:

(i) To the conservator or guardian of the principal if one (1) has been appointed and a coagent or successor agent; or

(ii) To any one (1) of the following if there is no person described in paragraph (i) of this subsection:

(A) The principal's caregiver;

(B) Another person reasonably believed by the agent to have sufficient interest in the principal's welfare;

(C) A governmental agency having authority to protect the welfare of the principal.

3-9-119. Acceptance of and reliance upon acknowledged power of attorney. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

(a) A person that in good faith accepts a purportedly acknowledged power of attorney without actual knowledge that the signature is not genuine may rely upon the presumption under W.S. 3-9-105 that the signature is genuine.

(b) A person that in good faith accepts a purportedly acknowledged power of attorney without actual knowledge that the power of attorney is void, invalid or terminated, that the purported agent's authority is void, invalid or terminated or that the agent is exceeding or improperly exercising the agent's authority may rely upon the power of attorney as if the power of attorney were genuine, valid and still in effect, the agent's authority were genuine, valid and still in effect and the agent had not exceeded and improperly exercised the authority.

(c) A person that is asked to accept an acknowledged power of attorney may request and rely upon without further investigation an:

(i) Agent's certification under penalty of perjury of any factual matter concerning the principal, agent or power of attorney;

(ii) English translation of the power of attorney if the power of attorney contains, in whole or in part, language other than English.

(d) A certification or translation requested under this section shall be provided at the principal's expense.

(e) For purposes of this section and W.S. 3-9-120:

(i) "Acknowledged" means purportedly verified before a notary public or other person authorized to take acknowledgements;

(ii) A person that conducts activities through employees is without actual knowledge of a fact relating to a power of attorney, principal or agent if the employee conducting the transaction involving the power of attorney is without actual knowledge of the fact.

3-9-120. Liability for refusal to accept acknowledged power of attorney. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, a person that is asked to accept an acknowledged power of attorney shall:

(i) Accept the acknowledged power of attorney or request a certification or translation under W.S. 3-9-119(c) not later than seven (7) business days after presentation of the power of attorney for acceptance;

(ii) If the person requests a certification or translation under W.S. 3-9-119(c), accept the power of attorney not later than five (5) business days after receipt of the certification or translation; and

(iii) Not require an additional or different form of power of attorney for authority granted in the power of attorney presented.

(b) A person may refuse an acknowledged power of attorney if:

(i) The person is not otherwise required to engage in a transaction with the principal in the same circumstances;

(ii) Engaging in a transaction with the agent or the principal in the same circumstances would be inconsistent with federal law;

(iii) The person has actual knowledge of the termination of the agent's authority or of the power of attorney before exercise of the power;

(iv) A request for a certification or translation under W.S. 3-9-119(c) is refused;

(v) The person in good faith believes the power is not valid or the agent does not have the authority to perform the act requested whether or not a certification or translation under W.S. 3-9-119(c) has been requested or provided; or

(vi) The person makes, or has actual knowledge that another person has made, a report to a governmental agency having authority to protect the welfare of the principal stating a good faith belief that the principal may be subject to physical or financial abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment by the agent or a person acting for or with the agent.

(c) A person who refuses to accept an acknowledged power of attorney in violation of this section is subject to the following:

(i) A court order mandating acceptance of the power of attorney;

(ii) Liability for reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in any action or proceeding that confirms the validity of the power of attorney or mandates acceptance of the power of attorney.

3-9-121. Principles of law and equity. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

Unless displaced by a provision of this act, the principles of law and equity supplement this act.

3-9-122. Laws applicable to financial institutions and entities. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

This act does not supersede any other law applicable to financial institutions or other entities. The other law controls if inconsistent with this act.

3-9-123. Remedies under other law. Note: this is effective as of 1/1/2018.

The remedies under this act are not exclusive and do not abrogate any right or remedy under the law of this state other than this act.

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