Washington Power of Attorney

On a Washington power of attorney form the person you are granting powers to is called the attorney-in-fact. This person does not have to be an attorney, it can be anyone you trust, your spouse, your brother or a close friend. The power you grant your attorney-in-fact will be determined by the type of power of attorney you are using. Washington power of attorney forms are available at Legal Zoom , and in most cases, are easy enough to fill out without the help of an attorney.

Special powers of attorney are used for granting limited powers such as allowing a friend to sell a car for you. A motor vehicle power of attorney is all that is needed for another person to sign a car title for you. A house can be sold the same way, if you are unable to be at the closing. You could use a real estate power of attorney and have someone sign the documents for you.

A general power of attorney grants a wide range of powers and should only be used if you completely trust your attorney-in-fact. This person would be allowed to open your mail, pay your bills, sell property and manage your retirement accounts. This power of attorney might be used if you were leaving the country on a trip and wanted a family member to be able to take care of any emergency that might come up. A person with a dual residence might have one of these with a relative in each town for taking care of emergencies or any other matters that need tended to.

The special and general powers of attorney fall under the category of nondurable powers of attorney, meaning they are automatically void if you ever become mentally incapacitated. Durable powers of attorney stay in effect should this ever happen and are used a lot in estate planning. Your Washington estate planning attorney would probably like to see a durable medical power of attorney and a durable financial power of attorney in your estate plan. These two documents would allow your attorney-in-fact to make medical decisions for you and take care of all your financial needs.

Your durable medical power of attorney could also contain a health care directive, allowing you to give instructions pertaining to your health care. These instructions would have to be followed by your attorney-in-fact and your health care providers.

Durable powers of attorney, like nondurable powers of attorney, become effective when they are written. It is possible to create these powers of attorney to become effective only when a certain event occurs. A springing durable power of attorney would only be effective in the event that a doctor declared you mentally incompetent. Until that time no power has been granted.

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