Power of Attorney in Everett, WA
Have you ever wondered who would take care of your finances or make decisions for you if you were unable to do so for yourself? Don’t worry about leaving it up to whoever the law says has this right. Look into securing a power of attorney. This legal document can help you prepare for any situation where you may need someone else to make decisions for you. With the help of an attorney in Everett, Washington you can easily set one up and get peace of mind today.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
The American Bar Association defines power of attorney as a document that gives someone power to act on your behalf as a legal agent. This authority can be either temporary, or permanent. The result is that your designated agent can manage your affairs without your written approval.
Why Would You Need a Power of Attorney?
One of the reasons why you may pursue a POA is for convenience. For example, you may rather have someone manage your assets without securing your approval each time. Any Washington POA can circumvent checks and balance steps, and allow someone to act on your behalf.
Another reason for a POA is if you are unable to make legally sound decisions. A POA provides you with security, giving a person of your choosing the power to act for you. This arrangement is typical for senior citizens. It’s also common for people with severe physical or mental conditions that prevent them from making decisions.
Types of Power of Attorney In Everett, Washington
Not every POA grants the same powers to your agent. In fact, you can choose from a variety of different POAs. This allows you to cater to what best suits your situation.
General Power of Attorney
A general POA grants an array of powers to the agent. This can include:
- The ability to handle your financial matters and accounts
- Power to manage your insurance needs
- The ability to operate your business
- The ability to make business decisions on your behalf
- Power to hire or fire employees
- The ability to settle claims against you
- The ability to change your estate plan.
You may use this type of POA if you will be away for an extended period and need legal representation in Everett, WA to handle your affairs. This legal arrangement may happen during your absence. It may also occur in a situation where you cannot make the decisions on your own due to an illness or injury.
Special Power of Attorney
A special POA is more specific, giving you the power to sign off on distinct powers granted to your agent. For example, if you only want someone to sign off on real estate deals, a limited power of attorney would be proper. You may also choose to use a special POA when you don’t have the time to deal with specific affairs due to time or health constraints.
Washington State’s Uniform Power of Attorney Act provides for the creation of general and specific powers in an Everett power of attorney (POA). Specifically, you can grant a variety of powers in areas including real estate, personal property, stocks & bonds, banking, business operations, insurance, and taxes. In addition, if your real property is in Everett, you should file the real estate POA with the Snohomish County Recorder’s Office.
Health Care Power of Attorney
This type of POA grants your agent the right to make all medical decisions on your behalf. It comes in handy when you are not conscious or are otherwise unable to make decisions regarding your health care. While state laws can differ, your POA could have the ability to make serious decisions, like ending life support.
You may want to use a health care POA if you are elderly or sick. It’s possible you could find yourself in a situation where you can’t make decisions on your own. A Power of attorney can transfer to your child or someone you trust so that care can continue in your best interests.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney (DPOA), enables the agent to control specified functions. DPOAs are useful if you anticipate losing your mental faculties, such as after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. In essence, it acts as a preventative safeguard.
Washington statute does not provide for durability in an Everett power of attorney (POA). To create durability, you must include language that shows your intent that the agent’s authority is exercisable notwithstanding your incapacity. In addition, you must sign and date the POA in front of a notary public. Alternatively, the POA can be attested by two or more competent witnesses. Of note, the witnesses cannot be home care providers for the principal nor care providers at a long-term facility in which the principal lives. In addition, the witnesses cannot be related by blood or marriage to the principal or agent.
Choosing an Agent
The person you choose as an agent should be someone you trust. Often, people choose a family member as they usually have your best interests in mind and are close to you. However, you can select any individual to be your POA. Keep in mind that whoever you choose will be in charge of managing your affairs. This should be someone you trust to honor your wishes.
Appointing Multiple Agents
As a principal, in Everett, WA you have the right to appoint multiple agents. You decide whether these agents act together or make separate decisions. Having two or more agents establishes a system of checks and balances. This procedure keeps one agent from making too rash of a judgment. However, it can also lead to discrepancies that may cause delays.
At the very least, it is crucial to have a backup POA should something happen to your primary. A successor agent can take control once the primary agent either passes away or cannot carry out the duties of an agent.
Revoking a Power of Attorney in Everett, Washington
You have the right to revoke your power of attorney at any time as long as you are of sound mind to do so. You will have to put your revocation in writing and file it with the same place in Everett, WA that handled your original POA paperwork.
Another party may also try to revoke your POA. Although, that becomes a much more complex legal proceeding and would be difficult to prove in court. The person would have to show the agent has done something to jeopardize your interests.
Under Washington State statute, the execution of a power of attorney (POA) in Everett does not revoke a POA previously executed by the principal. This holds unless the subsequent POA provides that the previous POA is revoked or that all other POAs are revoked. Alternatively, the principal can execute a Revocation of POA. In either case, the agent and anyone relying on the POA must have knowledge of the revocation for it to be effective.
Using a POA to Protect your Interests
You can insert provisions into your agreement that force your agent to report to an outside party. For example, a family accountant or a designated medical doctor could fill this role. This arrangement adds another layer of security and guarantees that another party can review decisions.
Under Washington State law, an Everett resident may designate two or more co-agents in a power of attorney. Unless stated otherwise, all co-agents must exercise their authority jointly. However, a co-agent may delegate their authority to another co-agent. Additionally, an agent that does not participate in or conceal a breach of fiduciary duty committed by another agent is not liable for the breach. Furthermore, if an agent is aware of a breach but fails to notify the principal, they can be liable for the damages that could have been avoided with notification.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File POA in Everett, Washington?
It is always wise to consult with an attorney who specializes in Everett trust or estate issues. POA paperwork can be complex, so having a dedicated Everett legal professional on your side is helpful. A lawyer can also help you add provisions that safeguard your interests when you cannot look out for yourself.
Work with an Experienced Local Lawyer in Everett, Washington
If you want to create a power of attorney, you should begin by speaking with an attorney. We can match you with an experienced Everett lawyer that can help you navigate your POA. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Washington state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!