District of Columbia Power of Attorney Forms

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Power of Attorney for District of Columbia

A power of attorney (POA) is valuable legal tool for making sure your affairs can be handled when you can’t attend to matters yourself. This way, if an unexpected accident or other circumstance arises that prevents you from acting, the agent you name in your power of attorney form can act on your behalf. Title 21 of the District of Columbia Code contains the laws that allow you to create a POA and delegate your authority to an agent. We’ll discuss some of the important ways this form can be used below:

General power of attorney – This is a broad document that allows a highly trusted agent authority in many areas. It is the opposite of a limited power of attorney, also called a special power of attorney, which grants authority to handle only a particular transaction or subject matter. With a general POA, you can ensure that your bills will be paid, checks can be cashed, and other financial and business affairs can continue uninterrupted if an unfortunate or unexpected event prevents you from acting. Without one, a guardianship may need to be established before another can handle your affairs. Appointing a guardian is a time-consuming and expensive court procedure. You can avoid it by simply filling out a POA, and also prevent foreclosure, bad credit, disrupted business operations, or other negative consequences that can arise when there is a delay in handling matters. District of Columbia Code § 21-2101 et seq.

Durable power of attorney – This type of document stays effective despite your incapacity. It must contain language stating that it is meant to stay effective despite your future disability or incapacity, or that it only becomes effective upon your disability or incapacity. For example, a medical power of attorney must be durable in order for your health care agent to make medical decisions for you when you are unconscious or unable to communicate clearly. District of Columbia Code § 21-2108 et seq.

Custodial power of attorneyA parent may use a POA form to delegate authority to another for the care, physical custody, and control of a child. The agent is prohibited from consenting to the child’s marriage or adoption, but can enroll the child in school, seek medical care for the child, obtain school records, and act in a parental role. District of Columbia Code § 21-2301

General Power of Attorney

Q: What is a General Power of Attorney

A General Power of Attorney is a legal document which gives the person you choose (the agent) the power to manage your assets and financial affairs while you are alive. The document must be signed by you (the principal) while you have the required legal capacity to give your agent clear and concise instructions. The appointment may be for a fixed period and can be revoked by you at any time providing you still have the legal capacity to do so. A power of attorney ceases when you die. The executor named in your will then takes over the responsibilities of your estate.

Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney

Q: What is a Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney?

A: A Health Care Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows an individual to designate another person to make medical decisions for him or her when he or she cannot make decisions for himself or herself. In other words it names someone who stands in your shoes and tells the doctors what to do or what not do for you.

A Living Will is a document that allows a person to explain in writing which medical treatment he or she does or does not want during a terminal illness. A terminal illness is a fatal illness that leads ultimately to death. A Living Will takes effect only when the patient is incapacitated and can no longer express his or her wishes. The will states which medical treatments may be used and which may not be used to die naturally and without the patientís life being artificially prolonged by various medical procedures. Although the term Living Will may indicate that it is a Will, in reality, it is more similar to a Power of Attorney than a Will.

Limited or Special Power of Attorney?

Q: What is a limited or special power of attorney?

A: A Limited power of attorney is one which is limited to a specific act or particular purpose. It is also referred to as special power of attorney. A limited power of attorney allows the Principal to give only specific powers to the agent.

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