A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that sets out that one person (the grantor or principal) gives someone else (the grantee or agent) the power to act on their behalf. They are often used in the context of medical decisions, real estate, and finances.
Below are a couple of types of power of attorney commonly used in DC.
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DC Durable Power of Attorney
Generally, a power of attorney will not be effective if the principal or grantor becomes incapacitated. If you want the power of attorney to “survive” an illness or sudden accident, then you need to use a durable power of attorney. In DC, this type of power of attorney is also referred to as the statutory power of attorney.
To make a POA “durable,” you must use specific language that states, for example,
“This power of attorney will continue to be effective if I become disabled, incapacitated, or incompetent,” or similar phrasing.
A durable power of attorney (DPOA) will remain in effect even if the principal or the grantor becomes incapacitated for any reason. You should use the above forms if you want your agent to continue acting on your behalf even if you become ill or otherwise mentally incapable of making decisions that affect your life.
Washington DC Health Care Power of Attorney
You can also designate someone to make only healthcare decisions on your behalf. A District of Columbia durable power of attorney for health care will also only become effective if you are unable to make your own healthcare decisions. As a result, it is durable by default.
Your agent will also have permission to talk to your healthcare personnel, get information related to your care and treatment, and sign any forms that would be required regarding the decisions they make for you.
As part of this document, you can also specifically set out your wishes regarding particular items, such as whether you want to be resuscitated.
Download: MS Word
How to Get a Power of Attorney in Washington DC
When you sign a power of attorney in Washington, DC, you will need two witnesses, one of whom cannot be related to you. It is not required to be notarized.
All power of attorney forms on this page comply with the legal requirements in DC. You can choose any of these forms that fit your needs.