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Washington Personal Planning Package
Washington Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney for Washington
A power of attorney allows an agent to act on your behalf based on the terms of the document, whether a General Power of Attorney, Limited Power of Attorney, Child Care Power of Attorney or others.
Washington Uniform Power of Attorney Act
The Washington Uniform Power of Attorney Act is the law that allows you to appoint an agent to act on your behalf when you’re unable to handle it yourself, due to an accident, illness, absence, or other reason. Some of the important things to know about this law are explained below:
- A durable power of attorney stays effective if you become physically or mentally incapacitated. An power of attorney Washington form is durable unless it contains language stating that it will be terminated by the incapacity, incompetency, or disability of the principal (creator). Section 26-1A-104
- The document must be signed by the principal or someone signing on his/her behalf, as long as it’s signed in the presence of and at the request of the principal. A notarized signature is presumed to be genuine if there’s a dispute over the signature’s authenticity. Section 26-1A-105
- Unless specified otherwise, an Washington POA form will be effective as soon as it is signed. However, you can create what is called a springing power of attorney form, which only takes effect after a specified date or event occurs. Section 26-1A-109
- The termination of the appointed agent’s authority can occur in various ways:
- It is a nondurable power of attorney and the principal becomes incapacitated.
- The principal dies.
- The principal or a court appointed fiduciary revokes the document.
- The purpose of the POA has been accomplished.
- The power of attorney form states a terminating date or condition, which has occurred.
- The agent dies, resigns, becomes incapacitated, or has his/her power revoked by the principal, and the power of attorney does not provide for another agent
- The agent and the principal file a lawsuit for legal separation, annulment, or divorce, unless stated otherwise in the form. Section 26-1A-110
- You can appoint co-agents or successor agents. If co-agents are appointed, their authority is effective during the same time period. Co-agents are presumed to have independent authority to act, unless stated otherwise. If you wish co-agents to agree on the matter before acting, you must state so. Successor agents have authority to act on the principal’s behalf only when the previously appointed agent resigns, dies, becomes incapacitated, is disqualified to serve, or is otherwise unable to serve. Section 26-1A-111
- The creation of a health care power of attorney is also possible. In a medical power of attorney form, the agent is granted authority to make medical decisions regarding the provision, withholding, or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment and artificially provided nutrition and hydration for the principal. However, the agent must be specifically authorized to do so in a durable power of attorney that complies with the requirements of the Washington Natural Death Act. Section 26-1A-404
General Power of Attorney
Q: What is a General Power of Attorney
A General Power of Attorney is a legal document which gives the person you choose (the agent) the power to manage your assets and financial affairs while you are alive. The document must be signed by you (the principal) while you have the required legal capacity to give your agent clear and concise instructions. The appointment may be for a fixed period and can be revoked by you at any time providing you still have the legal capacity to do so. A power of attorney ceases when you die. The executor named in your will then takes over the responsibilities of your estate.
Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney
Q: What is a Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney?
A: A Health Care Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows an individual to designate another person to make medical decisions for him or her when he or she cannot make decisions for himself or herself. In other words it names someone who stands in your shoes and tells the doctors what to do or what not do for you.
A Living Will is a document that allows a person to explain in writing which medical treatment he or she does or does not want during a terminal illness. A terminal illness is a fatal illness that leads ultimately to death. A Living Will takes effect only when the patient is incapacitated and can no longer express his or her wishes. The will states which medical treatments may be used and which may not be used to die naturally and without the patient�s life being artificially prolonged by various medical procedures. Although the term Living Will may indicate that it is a Will, in reality, it is more similar to a Power of Attorney than a Will.
Limited or Special Power of Attorney?
Q: What is a limited or special power of attorney?
A: A Limited power of attorney is one which is limited to a specific act or particular purpose. It is also referred to as special power of attorney. A limited power of attorney allows the Principal to give only specific powers to the agent.