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Get a Washington, D.C., power of attorney in minutes

Choose someone to act in financial matters on your behalf by executing a power of attorney (POA). FindLaw’s guided process means you can complete your own POA quickly and easily.

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District of Columbia power of attorney options to fit your needs

Power of Attorney

For one person

A do-it-yourself power of attorney form that’s easy to personalize

What’s included:
What’s included
Step-by-step guided process
A power of attorney that’s tailored to your needs
Attorney-approved document compliant with your state’s laws
Free changes and revisions to your will for up to one full year after purchase


Estate Planning Package

For One person

All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan

What’s included:
What’s included
Last will and testament
Health care directive
Power of attorney
Free HIPAA release form
A comprehensive plan — for less
Free changes and revisions for up to one year after purchase

Still not sure what estate planning tools you need?

Do I really need a power of attorney?

If you become incapacitated due to an accident or illness and do not have a power of attorney, your next of kin must file an action in probate called a conservatorship. In this action, the court determines who manages your real estate, business, financial, and family maintenance affairs and places your matters in a protective proceeding. If this occurs, there is no guarantee that the court will choose your preference to act in this role or that this person will manage your affairs in a way you approve. A power of attorney takes out this uncertainty. You choose who acts on your behalf should you become incapacitated and you define their powers.

A power of attorney can help in other situations besides incapacity. For example, you may plan a long trip abroad, be deployed as a service member, or require short-term assistance finishing one transaction (e.g., you are unavailable to close on your house.) A power of attorney makes these instances easier too.

Written by:

Jocelyn Mackie, J.D.

Contributing Author

Reviewed by:

Laura Temme, Esq.

Senior Legal Writer

How it works

The process takes less than an hour, and you can complete it from the comfort of your home

Create an account

Create a secure account which is accessible through an easy dashboard you can access any time

Gather information

Indicate who your agent will be and what authority you want them to have

Complete your document

Answer all questions, then we’ll generate your digital documents for downloading, printing, and signing

Make it legal

Carefully follow the instructions provided in the form, which may include signing your documents in front of witnesses or a notary

Free Download

Plan for your future with confidence

This free guide will help you:

  • Learn the most common estate planning terms

  • Understand the essential estate planning tools

  • Gather critical information with an estate planning checklist

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How to get a Washington, D.C., power of attorney form

Understand how a POA works in D.C.

power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint an agent to act on your behalf. The person making the appointment (you) is the principal. An agent in a power of attorney is also called an attorney-in-fact.

Washington, D.C. presumes powers of attorney are durable, meaning they remain effective regardless of your future incapacity. Most people prefer that their powers of attorney are durable since they execute them as a backup in case they are incapacitated or unavailable.

Powers of attorney are no longer enforceable if the principal is dead. If you wish to execute an instrument that manages your property or business after you die, choose a living trust or last will and testament.

Choose your agent

Choose your agent or attorney-in-fact carefully. They should be someone who looks out for your best interests and knows your essential matters — like whether you have a mortgage, where you run your business, where you bank, etc. Common agent choices include spouses and live-in partners. Single people may choose a close friend, family member, or business partner. Once you select your primary agent, designate a secondary agent. You never know if something occurs and leaves the first choice of agent unavailable or unwilling to carry out their duties in the power of attorney.

Define your agent’s duties

Your form will list duties and powers you can assign to your agent. They include the general powers that allow agents to sign contracts, handle records, and manage any current litigation (if applicable) on your behalf. You can also assign the specific powers defined in DC Code sections 21-2104 through 21-2117. Specific powers include real property, financial, business, and other routine transactions.

Find a notary

You must sign a Washington, D.C. power of attorney in front of a notary public. When you finish the form, check your financial institution to see if they have a notary on staff. If not, you can find notaries at print and mail service locations or hire a mobile notary public to visit you at home or work.

Make copies

Store the original power of attorney in a safe deposit box or fireproof cabinet. Make copies of it and provide them to your agent, family members, and anyone else affected by its contents.

If you find you need to revoke your power of attorney, you can do so by executing a new power of attorney or a document called a revocation of power of attorney.

You may want to speak with a lawyer if:

  • You don’t know who to choose as your agent
  • You want to use a POA for Medicaid planning
  • You want to discuss which powers you should give your agent
  • You want legal review of your completed power of attorney
Find a local estate planning lawyer

Ready to start your District of Columbia power of attorney?

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Common questions about powers of attorney in Washington, D.C.

You can find free power of attorney forms online. However, you do not know if they are effective in Washington, D.C., or appropriate for your circumstances. They rarely come with instructions, and you may not finish them correctly. It is better to consult with an attorney or buy a form with instructions than to take a chance on free forms.

If you are a married wage earner whose assets are jointly owned, you will have fewer issues finishing a power of attorney correctly.

There are situations where you need an attorney for any estate planning documents, including a power of attorney. These situations carry more risk and more significant impacts if a power of attorney is not legally correct:

  • High chance of family conflict that delays management of your affairs or estate
  • You own a business or a majority share in a company or partnership
  • You are single and choosing a non-family member as your attorney-in-fact

Washington, D.C. estate planning attorney can help you with a durable power of attorney, but also a last will and testament, living trust, healthcare directive, and medical power of attorney. Follow the link to find an attorney in your area.

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