A Washington, DC durable power of attorney form is a document that grants someone (the “agent”) the legal authority to act and make decisions for another person (the “principal”) in the state of Washington, DC.
Unlike a regular non-durable power of attorney (POA), a durable power of attorney (DPOA) stays in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated and legally can’t make their own decisions.
This form is sometimes called a general durable power of attorney and a durable power of attorney for finances, and is used for financial and business matters. To grant durable power over medical decisions, you need a medical power of attorney.
Download a legally-binding Washington, DC durable power of attorney form in fillable PDF and Word formats, and learn how to use it in the District of Columbia.
1. Washington, DC Durable Power of Attorney Requirements
In Washington, DC, power of attorney forms can be made durable by including the following or similar language:
“This power of attorney will continue to be effective if I become disabled, incapacitated, or incompetent.”
Relevant Laws: Chapter 21 (Uniform General Power of Attorney)
Presumed Durable: No. §§ 21-2081 and 21-2102
Signing: Signature of the principal required. Witnesses not required.
Notarization: The principal must sign in front of a notary public. § 21-2101
Statutory Form: Yes — § 21-2101
The durable power of attorney template on this page includes all required language and complies with Washington, DC DPOA laws and regulations.
2. How to Fill Out a Washington, DC DPOA Form
Follow these steps to easily complete our blank durable power of attorney form for Washington, DC:
Step 1: Designate an Agent
First, the principal chooses someone they trust to be their agent. It’s critical that the principal fully understands what power of attorney is and the risks involved in giving legal power to another person.
Both parties write their names and addresses at the top of the durable power of attorney form.
Step 2: Grant Authority
The principal needs to mark on the form which areas of their life they want to give the agent legal power over. This can be general authority (e.g., operation of a business) or specific authority (e.g., make a loan).
They can also write specific instructions about which actions the agent can perform on their behalf.
Step 3: Ensure Your Form is Durable
For the power of attorney to continue even if the principal is incapacitated, the form must be made durable.
In Washington, DC, you must use specific language to make your POA durable.
Step 4: Sign and Date the Form
To complete the paperwork, the agent and the principal sign and date the durable power of attorney form.
Don’t forget that in Washington, DC, your form also needs to be notarized.
3. Storing and Using Your Form in Washington, DC
After completing your durable power of attorney form, you should store it in a safe deposit box or secure place in your home.
To use the durable power of attorney, you need to give your agent a copy of the form. You should also give a copy to family members, a trusted friend, and third parties where it will be used (such as your landlord, bank, or a state agency).
Signing on Behalf of the Principal
For an agent to sign on your behalf, contact the third party or place the DPOA will be used, and provide your ID and that of your agent.
The agent can then sign on your behalf as follows:
by [Agent’s name]
Power of attorney
Your agent can use a power of attorney to conduct almost any legal matter that you can do (if granted the authority).
Revoking a Durable Power of Attorney in Washington, DC
A principal can revoke a power of attorney at any time by completing and filing a revocation of power of attorney.
Although a durable power of attorney can’t be revoked if the principal is already incapacitated, it’s possible for a third-party individual to override a power of attorney if they suspect an agent of abuse or negligence.
Although an agent has a ‘fiduciary duty’ to act in the principal’s best interest, this is not always the case. You should always choose someone you trust to be your agent.