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Types of Power of Attorney in Washington

There’s more than one type of Power of Attorney in Washington and selecting the correct variant can be critical. Each kind offers different types of powers to an Attorney-in-Fact (also known as an Agent). Therefore, you must create the right class of document, in order for your POA to work as intended.

The most common variants available in Washington include the following examples: 

  • Durable: Durable Power of Attorney documents are invaluable tools for individuals planning how their estate will be managed in their old age, or in the event of sudden illness or disability. They allow the Agent to act for the Principal even if they become incapacitated.

  • Limited: A Limited Power of Attorney allows a Principal to grant time-limited powers to an Agent. This is usually to allow the Agent to complete a one-off task such as signing a contract.

  • Medical: Medical Power of Attorney is a durable form of POA that allows a Principal to appoint a person to make medical decisions for them if they become incapacitated

  • Real Estate: Real Estate POAs are specially tailored documents that let Principals grant powers to an Agent for the purposes of managing real estate.

  • DMV: A DMV POA is a kind of Vehicle Power of Attorney that gives an Agent the authority to transfer ownership of a car or motorbike belonging to the Principal and to manage other issues related to cars and other motor vehicles. 

  • Springing: A springing Power of Attorney is a legal instrument that allows you to appoint and give authority to an Agent when certain criteria are met and specific events occur. These will normally become active when the Principal becomes incapacitated and unable to act for themselves.

  • Minor Child Power of Attorney: This variety of Power of Attorney allows a Principal to appoint an Agent to take on their legal parental rights for a limited period of time. This could be for work reasons, deployment in the military, or due to an illness. 

  • Tax: A Tax Power of Attorney form enables you to grant authority to an agent to represent you before Washington’s tax office. 

How to Get a Power of Attorney in Washington

 A Washington Power of Attorney can be filled-in fully online with our step-by-step form completion survey. All you need to do is answer the questions and add in your own information to create a fully complete POA tailored to your necessities.  

Alternatively, the task of creating a POA can be left to a lawyer. However, this is usually a more time-consuming and costly process.

Washington Power of Attorney Requirements

In order to make sure your POA is fully valid upon completion and signing, you must make sure that you follow the right steps to prepare your WA Power of Attorney document before successfully putting it into action. 

To do this you will need to meet the following criteria:

  1. Make sure all the details on the form are correct such as names, addresses, dates, and the powers that are to be granted.

  2. The completed form should be signed by both the Agent and Principal.

  3. It is essential that the signing of the document is viewed by 2 witnesses who must also sign the form.

  4. A notary public must also be present at the signing to notarized the document, and must sign it too. 

  5. In the event that the POA will be used to manage real estate, the document must be filed with the clerk of the county where the property is located 30 days after signing.

In addition to these steps, it is crucial that all the signing parties are legally able to enter into this agreement. This means that they must:

  • Be over 18 years of age.

  • Be mentally competent enough to enter into a contractual agreement.

  • Understand the powers that are being granted.

Washington (§11-125-900) adopted the Universal Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA) in 2016. This means that you can use your Power of Attorney in other states that have also adopted this act. Make sure your document also follows the guidelines of the UPOAA. 

Lastly, the Agent must be a legal adult or a financial institution with trust powers, a registered place of business within the state and that has the authority to carry out trust business in Washington. They should also be someone that the Principal has full confidence in.

Washington Power of Attorney Sample

Before starting your own Washington Power of Attorney, it can help to look over an example document to understand how your final draft will look and what it will say. Simply view our POA sample now to get a feel for how these documents are written and appear once completed.

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Power of Attorney Washington Sample

FAQs About Washington Power of Attorney Forms

It is important to have a good understanding of what Washington Power of Attorney forms can do before filling in your own. Read through our FAQs below to get a better idea of the key information needed as well as any other special considerations.

What Are Some Uses of a Power of Attorney?

A Washington Power of Attorney is an important legal document that allows you to appoint a trusted individual to act on behalf of you to carry out important activities. Once signed, these legal forms can be used for a number of different purposes depending on their type and purpose

These responsibilities include:

  • Managing your financial affairs

  • Making medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated

  • Handling activities for you such as buying or selling property

How to Sign as a Power of Attorney?

Once a WA Power of Attorney is signed and notarized, it can be used by the Agent to carry out duties for the Principal. In order to prove they have the authority to act for the Principal, the Attorney-in-Fact must bring the signed copy of the agreement to the place where they will sign a document on the appointing individual’s behalf.

The Agent must then sign their name on the signature line for the signee and must print their own name next to the name of the Principle on the form. They must also indicate that they are signing on behalf of the Principle as their Power of Attorney.  

For more information check out this article on the specifics of signing as a power of attorney.

Who Should Be Your Washington POA Agent?

When choosing the right Agent for your Washington POA, it is essential to pick a person (or people) that you trust implicitly

By granting Power of Attorney to someone you allow them to hold a large amount of responsibility for your financial or even bodily wellbeing. An Agent therefore must be someone you know will take the actions that serve these interests best. 

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Power of Attorney Washington Sample

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Preview of your Washington Power of Attorney

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.
I, _________, of _________, telephone number _________, and email address _________, name the following person _________ of _________, telephone number _________, and email address _________, as my Agent ("attorney-in-fact") to exercise act for me with respect to the following subjects.
This power of attorney will not be affected by my disability, incompetency, or incapacity.
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 (sections RCW 11.125.260 to 11.125.380):

(INITIAL each subject you want to include in the Agent's general authority. Document MUST be initialed.)

________ Real Property Transactions
________ Tangible Personal Property
________ Stocks and Bonds
________ Commodity and Options
________ Bank and Other Financial Institutions
________ Operation of Entity or Business
________ Insurance and Annuities
________ Estates, Trusts, and Other Beneficial Interests
________ Claims and Litigation
________ Personal and Family Maintenance
________ Benefits from Governmental Programs or Civil or Military Service
________ Retirement Plans
________ Taxes
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.
My Agent is entitled to reasonable compensation for any services rendered as my Agent. My Agent shall be entitled to reimbursement of all reasonable expenses incurred in acting under this Power of Attorney.
This Power of Attorney takes effect immediately, and will not be affected by my disability or lack of mental competence, except as may be provided otherwise by an applicable state statute. This is a Durable Power of Attorney. This Power of Attorney will continue to be effective until my death. This Power of Attorney may be revoked or terminated by me at any time by providing written notice to my Agent.
This Power of Attorney is effective immediately, unless I have stated otherwise in the Special Instructions.

Any person, including my agent, may rely upon the validity of this power of attorney or a copy of it unless that person knows it has terminated or is invalid.
This Power of Attorney shall be governed by the laws of the state of Washington. Moreover, I intend to have this Power of Attorney universally recognized and be admissible to recordation. In case that I become a resident of another jurisdiction, or obtain any form of property interest in another jurisdiction, it remains my intention that the laws of Washington shall continue to govern over this Power of Attorney to the extent that might be legally possible.

Dated ____________________, ______, at _________, _________.



On this _____ day of ____________________, ______, before me, the undersigned, personally appeared _________, personally known to me or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the individual whose name is subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she executed the same in his/her capacity, and that by his/her signature on the instrument, the individual, or the person upon behalf of which the individual acted, executed the instrument.

Notary Public
Notary Address:
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 amend or change 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 signed and dated by the principal, and the signature must be either acknowledged before a notary public or other individual authorized by law to take acknowledgments, or attested by two or more witnesses (RCW 11.125.050). 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.
Notice to Person Accepting the Appointment as Attorney-in-Fact
Agent's Duties

When you accept the authority granted under this power of attorney, a special legal relationship is created between you and the principal. This relationship imposes upon you legal duties that continue until you resign or your authority is terminated or the power of attorney is terminated or revoked. You must:
(1) Act in accordance with the principal's reasonable expectations to the extent actually known by you and, otherwise, in the principal's best interest;
(2) Act in good faith; and
(3) Act only within the scope of authority granted in the power of attorney;

Unless the Additional Provisions and Exclusions in this power of attorney state otherwise, you must also:
(1) Act loyally for the principal's benefit;
(2) Avoid conflicts that would impair your ability to act in the principal's best interest;
(3) Act with care, competence, and diligence ordinarily exercised by agents in similar circumstances;
(4) Keep a record of all receipts, disbursements, and transactions made on behalf of the principal;
(5) Cooperate with any person that has authority to make health care decisions for the principal to do what you know the principal reasonably expects, or if you do not know the principal's expectations, to act in the principal's best interest;
(6) Attempt to preserve the principal's estate plan, to the extent actually known by you, if preserving the plan is consistent with the principal's best interest

Termination of Agent's Authority

You must stop acting on behalf of the principal if you learn of any event that terminated or revoked this power of attorney or your authority under this power of attorney. Events that terminate a power of attorney or your authority to act under a power of attorney include:
(1) The Principal revokes the authority;
(2) The Agent dies, becomes incapacitated, or resigns;
(3) The occurrence of a termination event stated in the power of attorney;
(4) The purpose of the power of attorney is fully accomplished; or
(5) An action is filed for the dissolution or annulment of the agent's marriage to the principal or for their legal separation, or an action is filed for dissolution or annulment of the agent's state registered domestic partnership with the principal or for their legal separation, unless the power of attorney otherwise provides, unless the Special Instructions in this power of attorney state that such an action will not terminate your authority.


An agent that acts in good faith is not liable to any beneficiary of the principal's estate plan for failure to preserve the plan. An agent that acts with care, competence, and diligence for the best interest of the principal is not liable solely because the agent also benefits from the act or has an individual or conflicting interest in relation to the property or affairs of the principal. If an agent is selected by the principal because of special skills or expertise possessed by the agent or in reliance on the agent's representation that the agent has special skills or expertise, the special skills or expertise must be considered in determining whether the agent has acted with care, competence, and diligence under the circumstances. Absent a breach of duty to the principal, an agent is not liable if the value of the principal's property declines.
If you violate the Uniform Power of Attorney Act or act outside the authority granted, you may be liable for any damages caused by your violation.
If there is anything about this document or your duties that you do not understand, you should seek legal advice.

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.



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