District of Columbia durable power of attorney laws are found in District of Columbia Code, Title 21, Chapter 20, and Title 42, Subtitle I, Chapter 1, Subchapter I, Part A (Acknowledgment of Deeds). According to District of Columbia laws, a durable power of attorney is a type of power of attorney that will not be revoked due to a lapse of time or a principal’s subsequent disability or incapacity. A power of attorney is considered durable when it is clearly indicated in the power of attorney that the power of attorney will continue to be effective if the principal becomes disabled, incapacitated, or incompetent, thereby showing the intent of the principal that the power granted may be exercised notwithstanding later disability, incapacity, or incompetency. The agent’s acts on behalf of the principal when the principal is incapacitated will have the same effect as if the principal was not incapacitated and will bind the principal and his/her principal’s successors in interest. If a court appoints a conservator or fiduciary or guardian (jointly “guardian”) to the principal’s person and/or property, the agent will be accountable to the guardian and the principal.
A durable power of attorney is revoked by actual knowledge of the principal’s death or express revocation. However, the principal’s death does not revoke or invalidate the actions of the agent when acted without actual knowledge of principal’s death, and the agent’s actions will bind the principal’s successors. Likewise, in case of a non durable power of attorney the principal’s incapacity will not revoke or invalidate the actions of the agent when acted without actual knowledge of principal’s incapacity and the agent’s actions will bind the principal’s successors. In such situations, the agent is required to produce an affidavit stating that the agent did not have actual knowledge of the principal’s death or incapacity or revocation of the power of attorney. A durable power of attorney should be recorded in the same manner a deed is recorded.