A Wyoming (WY) Medical Power of Attorney, more commonly called a “power of attorney for health care” in Wyoming, lets you name a trusted person to make health care decisions for you. This person is called your “agent” and can only make these decisions for you if you lack the capacity to do so yourself.
Laws: The Wyoming Health Care Decisions Act (Wyoming Statutes Title 35, Chapter 22, Article 4) governs the creation of powers of attorney for health care in the state.
If you’re interested in a Medical Power of Attorney, the following related documents may be a good addition to your estate plan:
- Living Will: Referred to as an “individual instruction” in Wyoming, this document lets you leave instructions about end-of-life care and organ donation. Your individual instruction and power of attorney for health care are collectively referred to as your advance directive.
- (Financial) Power of Attorney: This document allows you to appoint an agent of your choice to make financial decisions for you.
How to Fill in a Medical Power of Attorney in Wyoming
Follow these steps to ensure your form is legally binding and meets state requirements.
Download a Medical Power of Attorney
Download an unfilled MPOA template to serve as a guide for creating your own form.
Step 1: Choose an agent
Your agent is the person you name to make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
Who should you choose as an agent?
Your agent should be another adult who you trust to make health care decisions based on your wishes that are known to them. If your wishes are unknown, your agent should make decisions based on what is in your best interest.
Relevant law: WY Stat § 35-22-403
Who can’t be your agent?
Wyoming law specifically prohibits an owner, operator, or employee of a residential or community care facility where you are receiving care health care provider or residential care provider from acting as your agent unless they are related to you.
Can you have more than one agent?
Yes, you can designate up to two alternate agents who can make decisions on your behalf if your primary agent can’t fulfill their duties.
Step 2: Specify what healthcare decisions your agent can make
Carefully consider which powers you want to grant your agent as this can literally be a matter of life or death.
Can you limit your agent’s powers?
Yes, you can limit your agent’s powers by writing in the specific instructions or restrictions you want to govern your agent’s actions. You can also include specific directions in your living will or individual instruction and state that your agent should follow those instructions.
Without any specific language stating otherwise, your agent will be able to make decisions about:
- The selection and discharge of health care providers
- The approval or disapproval of surgical procedures, diagnostic tests, programs of medications, and orders not to resuscitate
- Whether or not to provide, withhold, or withdraw life-sustaining treatment
Relevant laws: WY Stat § 35-22-403 and WY Stat § 402
What is your agent legally unable to do?
Wyoming law does not specify restrictions on an agent’s ability to make decisions on your care but defines health care decisions as making the decisions listed above.
When can your agent start making decisions for you?
Unless your advance health care directive says otherwise, your agent can only start making decisions for you after your primary physician determines you lack capacity.
Step 3: Sign the form
You must sign the document to make it legally binding.
If you physically can’t sign the document, you can instruct someone else in front of you to sign it on your behalf.
Do you need notary or witness signatures?
In Wyoming, you have the option of either:
- having your signature acknowledged before a notary public, or
- signing the form in front of two adult witnesses
Who can be a witness?
Your two witnesses must be competent adults. Neither one can be:
- Your agent
- Your treating health care provider or one of its employees
- A person entitled to any part of your estate after your death
- An operator of a community care facility or one of its employees
- An operator of a residential care facility or one of its employees
How long is your Medical Power of Attorney effective in Wyoming?
If you do not include an expiration date in your form, your agent can continue to act under the authority of the MPOA until:
- you revoke your power of attorney for health care, or
- you regain capacity and resume making your own health care decisions.
How to Revoke a Wyoming Medical Power of Attorney
In Wyoming, you must revoke your Power of Attorney for health care in writing. You must sign and date the revocation to make it official.
Once your health care provider or agent is informed of the revocation, they must promptly inform your primary health care provider and any healthcare facility where you were receiving care.
If your agent was your spouse and you get divorced or your marriage is annulled, the designation of your agent is automatically revoked unless your power of attorney for health care or divorce decree says otherwise.
If you create a new form that conflicts with an old one, the new instructions prevail, and the old Power of Attorney is revoked as to any conflicting statements.
Relevant law: WY Stat § 35-22-404