Washington Durable Power of Attorney Law


Power of Attorney and Health Care – General – Washington

Whenever a principal designates another as his or her attorney in fact by a written power of attorney, and the writing contains the words “This power of attorney shall not be affected by disability of the principal,” or “This power of attorney shall become effective upon the disability of the principal,” or similar words showing the intent of the principal that the authority conferred shall be exercisable notwithstanding the principal’s disability, the authority of the attorney in fact is exercisable on behalf of the principal as provided notwithstanding later disability or incapacity of the principal at law or later uncertainty as to whether the principal is dead or alive.

All acts done by the attorney in fact pursuant to the power of attorney during any period of disability or incompetence or uncertainty as to whether the principal is dead or alive have the same effect and inure to the benefit of and bind the principal or the principal’s guardian or heirs, devisees, and personal representative as if the principal were alive, competent, and not disabled.

A principal may use a durable power of attorney to nominate the guardian or limited guardian of his or her estate or person for consideration by the court if protective proceedings for the principal’s person or estate are commenced. The court shall make its appointment in accordance with the principal’s most recent nomination in a durable power of attorney except for good cause or disqualification.

Persons may place reasonable reliance on any determination of disability or incompetence as provided in a power of attorney that specifies the time and the circumstances under which the power of attorney document becomes effective.

A principal may authorize his or her attorney-in-fact to provide informed consent for health care decisions on the principal’s behalf. A principal’s attorney in fact may be the principal’s  spouse, or adult child or brother or sister.  None of the following persons may act as the attorney-in-fact for the principal: Any of the principal’s physicians, the physicians’ employees, or the owners, administrators, or employees of the health care facility where the principal resides or receives care.

The power of attorney should be signed by the principal and acknowledge before a notarial officer.A durable power of attorney continues in effect until revoked or terminated by the principal, by a court appointed guardian, or by court order.

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