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What is a Washington Power of Attorney?

A Washington Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal document that gives a trusted individual the authority to handle legal matters on your behalf, such as accessing your bank account, selling real estate, and signing contracts. 
 
The person giving control is called the "principal," while the individuals or entities receiving powers are called the "agents." Suitable for residents of Washington, this Power of Attorney is made for use in Clark County, Snohomish County, Spokane County, and in all other counties across the state. All Washington Power of Attorney forms from Rocket Lawyer can be tailored to address your particular circumstances. Creating this official legal document will provide proof to financial institutions and other parties that your chosen agent is legally allowed to act in your interest.

When to use a Washington Power of Attorney:

  • You wish to give someone broad authorization to act for you if you are absent or incapable.
  • You wish to give someone power to handle certain financial or legal issues in your absence or if you become ill.
  • You wish to authorize someone to act on your behalf if case you become legally incompetent or incapacitated.

Sample Washington Power of Attorney

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WASHINGTON

STATUTORY FORM POWER OF ATTORNEY

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

This Power of Attorney authorizes another person (your agent) to make decisions concerning your property for you (the principal). Your agent will be able to make decisions and act with respect to your property (including your money) whether or not you are able to act for yourself. The meaning of authority over subjects listed on this form is explained in the Uniform Power of Attorney Act.

 

This Power of Attorney does not authorize the agent to make healthcare decisions for you.

 

You should select someone you trust to serve as your agent. Unless you specify otherwise, generally the agent's authority will continue until you die or revoke the Power of Attorney or the agent resigns or is unable to act for you.

 

Your agent is entitled to reasonable compensation unless you state otherwise in the Special Instructions.

 

This form provides for designation of one agent. If you wish to name more than one agent you may name a coagent in the Special Instructions. Coagents are not required to act together unless you include that requirement in the Special Instructions.

 

If your agent is unable or unwilling to act for you, your Power of Attorney will end unless you have named a successor agent. You may also name a second successor agent.

 

This Power of Attorney becomes effective immediately unless you state otherwise in the Special Instructions.

 

If you have questions about the power of attorney or the authority you are granting to your agent, you should seek legal advice before signing this form.

 

DESIGNATION OF SUCCESSOR AGENT

If the Agent is unable to serve for any reason, I appoint , of , , , as my alternate or Successor Agent, as the case may be to serve with the same powers and discretions.

 

If the Successor Agent is unable to server for any reason, I appoint , of , , , as my second Successor Agent, as the case may be to serve with the same powers and discretions.

 

 

I hereby revoke any and all general powers of attorney that previously have been signed by me. I hereby revoke any and all special powers of attorney that previously have been signed by me. I hereby revoke any and all general powers of attorney and special powers of attorney that previously have been signed by me. However, the preceding sentence shall not have the effect of revoking any powers of attorney that are directly related to my healthcare that previously have been signed by me.

GRANT OF GENERAL AUTHORITY

I grant my agent and any successor agent general authority to act for me with respect to the following subjects as defined in the Uniform Power of Attorney Act:

 

(INITIAL each subject you want to include in the agent's general authority.)

 

 

  ________ Create, amend, revoke or terminate an inter vivos trust

  ________ Make a gift

  ________ Create or change rights of survivorship

  ________ Create or change a beneficiary designation

  ________ Authorize another person to exercise the authority granted under this Power of Attorney

  ________ Waive the principal's right to be a beneficiary of a joint and survivor annuity

  ________ Exercise fiduciary powers that the principal has authority to delegate

  ________ Access the content of electronic communications

  ________ Disclaim or refuse an interest in property, including a power of appointment

LIMITATION ON AGENT'S AUTHORITY

An agent that is not my ancestor, spouse or descendant MAY NOT use my property to benefit the agent or a person to whom the agent owes an obligation of support unless I have included that authority in the Special Instructions.

 

Each Agent may act independently, without the consent of the other Agent. The Agents must act jointly, with the consent of the other Agent. If either Agent is unable to serve for any reason, the other Agent shall serve alone. If either Agent is unable to serve for any reason, I appoint , of , , , as my Successor Agent to serve alone. If either Agent is unable to serve for any reason or if we become legally separated or divorced, I appoint , of , , as my Successor Agent to serve alone. If both Agents are unable to serve (either together or independently) I appoint , , , to act as my Alternate Successor Agent to serve alone.

 

This Power of Attorney shall become effective This Power of Attorney shall continue effective until or until I lack sufficient mental competence to understand and handle my financial and personal affairs or until I lack sufficient mental competence to understand and handle my financial and personal affairs. This Power of Attorney may be revoked by me at any time by providing written notice to my Agent.

 

RELIANCE ON THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY

The laws of the State of Washington shall govern this Power of Attorney. This Power of Attorney shall be effective in any state subject to the laws of the State of Washington.

 

This Power of Attorney is granted in, and shall be governed by the laws of the state of Washington; however, I intend that this Power of Attorney be universally recognized and that it be universally admissible to recordation. In the event that I become a resident of another jurisdiction, or obtain property, including real property or any other property interest, in another jurisdiction, it remains my intention that the laws of Washington shall continue to govern this Power of Attorney.

 

 

Dated ____________________, ______, at , .

 

 

__________________________________

 

Notice to Person Executing Power of Attorney

 

A Power of Attorney is an important legal document. By signing the Power of Attorney, you are authorizing another person to act for you, the principal. Before you sign this Power of Attorney, you should know these important facts:

 

Your Agent (attorney-in-fact) has no duty to act unless you and your Agent agree otherwise in writing.

 

This document gives your Agent the powers to manage, dispose of, sell and convey your real and personal property, and to use your property as security if your Agent borrows money on your behalf, unless you provide otherwise in this Power of Attorney.

 

Your Agent will have the right to receive reasonable payment for services provided under this Power of Attorney unless you provide otherwise in this Power of Attorney.

 

The powers you give your Agent will continue to exist for your entire lifetime, unless you state that the Power of Attorney will last for a shorter period of time or unless you otherwise terminate the Power of Attorney. The powers you give your Agent in this Power of Attorney will continue to exist even if you can no longer make your own decisions respecting the management of your property, unless you provide otherwise in this Power of Attorney.

 

You can change or correct the terms of this Power of Attorney only by executing a new Power of Attorney, or by executing an amendment through the same formalities as an original. You have the right to revoke or terminate this Power of Attorney at any time, so long as you are competent.

 

This Power of Attorney must be dated and must be acknowledged before a notary public or signed by two witnesses. If the Power of Attorney is signed by two witnesses, the witnesses must be mentally competent and they must witness the principal's signing of the Power of Attorney or (2) the principal's signing or acknowledgment of his or her signature. A Power of Attorney that may affect real property should be acknowledged before a notary public so that it may easily be recorded.

 

You should read this Power of Attorney carefully. When effective, this Power of Attorney will give your Agent the right to deal with property that you now have or might acquire in the future. The Power of Attorney is important to you. If you do not understand the Power of Attorney, or any provision of it, then you should obtain the assistance of an attorney or other qualified person.

 

Unless your attorney-in-fact is your spouse, state registered domestic partner, or adult child or brother or sister, he or she may NOT be any of the following persons:

 

Any of your physicians, the physicians' employees, or the owners, administrators, or employees of the healthcare facility or long-term care facility as defined in RCW 43.190.020 where the principal resides or receives care. Except when the principal has consented in a mental health advance directive executed under chapter 71.32 RCW to inpatient admission or electroconvulsive therapy, this authorization is subject to the same limitations as those that apply to a guardian under RCW 11.92.043(5) (a) through (c).

 

Notice to Person Accepting the Appointment as Attorney-in-Fact

 

By acting or agreeing to act as the Agent (attorney-in-fact) under this Power of Attorney, you assume the fiduciary and other legal responsibilities of an Agent. These responsibilities include:

 

1. The legal duty to: act solely in the interest of the principal; act loyally, with care, competence, and diligence; and avoid conflicts of interest.

 

2. The legal duty to keep a record of all transactions made on behalf of the principal, including the responsibility to produce receipts, ledgers and other records of all deposits, disbursements or other transactions involving the principal's assets or indebtedness.

 

3. To cooperate with the principal's Agent for healthcare decisions, should the principal appoint such an Agent, in making decisions in accordance with the principal's desires or in the best interest of the principal if the principal's wishes are not known.

 

4. The legal duty to preserve the principal's estate plan, if one exists, and the principal's desires for such plan to be preserved.

 

5. The legal duty to keep the principal's property separate and distinct from any other property owned or controlled by you.

 

6. The legal duty to terminate actions as Agent (Attorney-in-Fact) under this Power of Attorney upon the occurrence of any of the following:

 

a. Principal's death;

b. Revocation of the Power of Attorney of principal;

c. The arrival of any date stated in the Power of Attorney, which states the termination of the Power of Attorney, if any; or

d. No additional action is required under the Power of Attorney.

 

7. If you are the spouse of the principal, the Power of Attorney terminates upon legal separation or dissolution of the marriage.

 

8. You may be held responsible and liable for any intentional actions which violate or abuse your authority under this Power of Attorney as provided by the state and federal laws governing this Power of Attorney.

 

9. You have the right to seek legal advice if you do not understand your duties as Agent or any provisions in the Power of Attorney.

 

You may not transfer the principal's property to yourself without full and adequate consideration or accept a gift of the principal's property unless this Power of Attorney specifically authorizes you to transfer property to yourself or accept a gift of the principal's property. If you transfer the principal's property to yourself without specific authorization in the Power of Attorney, you may be prosecuted for fraud and/or embezzlement. If the principal is 60 years of age or older at the time that the property is transferred to you without authority, you may also be liable for abuse of vulnerable adults under Revised Code of Washington Chapter 74.34 et seq. In addition to civil penalties, you may be criminally prosecuted to the extent authorized in Revised Code of Washington Section 26.50.110.

 

I have read the foregoing notice and I understand the legal and fiduciary duties that I assume by acting or agreeing to act as the Agent (attorney-in-fact) under the terms of this Power of Attorney.

 

Date:

 

Signed:

 

 

_________________________________

 

General Special Durable

A notary public

The witnesses must be adults and cannot be home care providers for the Principal or care providers at an adult family home or long-term care facility in which the Principal resides. They also cannot be related to the Principal by blood, marriage, or state registered domestic partnership.

 

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Washington Power of Attorney FAQs

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  • How do you get a Power of Attorney in Washington state?

    It is fast and easy to give or receive the support you need with a free Washington Power of Attorney template from Rocket Lawyer:

    1. Make the PoA - Provide a few basic details and we will do the rest
    2. Send and share it - Review it with your agent(s) or ask a lawyer
    3. Sign and make it legal - Required or not, notarization/witnesses are recommended

    This solution, in many cases, will be much more affordable and convenient than hiring your average provider. If needed, you can fill out this PoA on behalf of your spouse or another relative, and then help that person sign after you've drafted it. Please remember that for this document to be valid, the principal must be mentally competent when they sign. In the event that the principal is already incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions, a court-appointed conservatorship could be necessary. When facing such a scenario, it would be important for you to speak to a lawyer .

  • Do I need to have a Washington PoA?

    Every person over 18 years old should have a Power of Attorney. Even though it may be challenging to acknowledge, a day might come when you are not able to manage your day-to-day affairs on your own. There will even be times when you're simply not available. Here are some common circumstances in which a PoA might be helpful:

    • You live in a residential care facility and need help managing financial affairs
    • You have plans to travel or move out of state temporarily or permanently
    • You would like to authorize someone to take legal actions on your behalf if you are legally incompetent or absent
    • You are getting older or have limited mobility or declining health

    Whether this Washington Power of Attorney is being made as a result of an unexpected emergency or as part of a long-term plan, witnesses and/or notarization can help to protect your agent if their power and authority are challenged.

  • What are the four types of Power of Attorney used in Washington?

    There are several ways to classify Power of Attorney documents. They are mainly based on when the powers will come into effect, how long they will remain in effect, and what they provide authority over. Often, you'll find them defined in the four buckets below:

    • Durable Power of Attorney - Would remain in effect even if you become mentally incompetent or otherwise incapacitated
    • Springing Power of Attorney - Would be activated based on certain guidelines
    • General Power of Attorney - Would grant broad authority over your affairs
    • Special Power of Attorney - Would grant limited powers over specific matters

    When making your free Washington Power of Attorney with Rocket Lawyer, you may opt to have the authority begin on a selected date, immediately upon signing, or only when you are not capable. Your Power of Attorney may expire upon your death or on a particular date.

  • Do I need to hire a lawyer for my Washington PoA?

    Washington Power of Attorney forms are normally easy to make, but you or your agent may still have questions. Seeking out a lawyer to comment on your Washington Power of Attorney might be relatively time-intensive. An easier and more cost-effective route would be through attorney services at Rocket Lawyer. By becoming a Premium member, you can get your documents reviewed or ask any legal questions. As always, you can rest assured that Rocket Lawyer will be by your side.

  • What would I traditionally need to pay to get a Power of Attorney form in Washington?

    The cost of meeting and hiring a legal provider to make a Power of Attorney could be anywhere between two hundred and five hundred dollars. Rocket Lawyer can offer much more protection than most other Power of Attorney template providers that you might encounter elsewhere. As a Rocket Lawyer member, you can get up to a 40% discount when hiring an attorney from our Rocket Lawyer attorney network.

  • Are there any additional steps that I should take after creating a Washington Power of Attorney?

    With a membership, you can make edits, download it as a Word document or PDF file, and/or print it. When you are ready to complete your Power of Attorney, it should be signed. Take care to send a copy of your fully signed document to your agent(s), financial institutions, and other impacted parties.

  • Does a Power of Attorney need to be notarized, witnessed, and/or recorded in Washington?

    The specific rules and restrictions will vary by state; however, in Washington, your document will need to be signed by a notary public or two witnesses. If your agent(s) will have the ability to manage real estate transactions, the Power of Attorney must be signed by a notary and recorded or filed with the county. As a basic principle, your witness(es) must be 18 years old or older, and no witness should also be your Power of Attorney agent.

    See Washington Power of Attorney law: RCW 11.125

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