Setting up a Durable Power of Attorney in Washington State is pretty straightforward.
In this article is a brief description of what a Durable Power of Attorney actually is, as well as some specific rules that you must follow to set up a durable power of attorney in Washington State.
Durable Power of Attorney (POA) Explained
A durable power of attorney allows you to choose someone to handle your medical and financial needs. It remains valid and in effect, if you become incapacitated and ends when you die or otherwise end the POA. There are two types of durable power of attorneys.
Durable Power of Attorney for healthcare: The durable power of attorney for health care gives your designated agent the authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
Durable Power of Attorney for finances: The durable power of attorney for finances gives your designated person the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf.
You can choose a person (known as your agent) to handle both the durable power of attorney for healthcare and the durable power of attorney for finances. You may also choose different agents for each as long as they can work together (separate adult children for example).
For both powers of attorney, you also plan on an alternate agent. This alternate agent would step in if the original person is unable to make decisions.
Powers of a Durable Power of Attorney in Washington State
A durable power of attorney in Washington state authorizes an agent to do the following on your behalf:
- Make health care decisions for you
- If you would like to have life-sustaining procedures withheld or withdrawn in the case of a terminal illness, you may also want to create a living will or advance directive to go along with your Power of Attorney.
- Buy or sell items for you
- Manage your business
- Collect Debts
- Invest money
- Cash checks
- Manage financial matters
Regulations for Washington State
There is no specific form you need to use for your POA for Washington State. The only regulation is that the form or statement you use is notarized by a certified notary republic. Most banks have a notary republic and are sometimes free if you are a customer.
After you and your agent(s) sign the documents in front of a notary, you want to make two copies. The original will go to your agent, one copy will go to your alternate agent, and you will keep a copy for yourself.
Who Can Set up A Durable Power of Attorney in Washington State?
The following people can set up a durable power of attorney:
Estate planning attorney: You can use an estate planning attorney but do not have to by law. An attorney will customize your POA as part of your estate plan.
Loved one or trusted friend: Make sure you discuss with them what you want so that they can help you fill out the required paperwork accordingly.
Yourself: It is very important that you understand all decisions that you are making and what affects they will have before signing a legal document. Be sure to choose a trusted person to act as your agent. Most importantly, make sure they are willing to act as your agent.
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