Christopher S. Mulvaney, Esq.


Powers of Attorney are appointments of one person to act on behalf of another in a Principal-Agent relationship. The appointment does not have to be accepted – it can be renounced by the Agent. There are many types of specific or limited Powers of Attorney. The two general types of durable Powers of Attorney common in estate planning are: financial and medical.


Powers of Attorney can apply when you are incapacitated. Therefore, it is the Powers of Attorney that are more likely to benefit you personally than your Will or Trust, which are primarily to benefit your heirs.

At my law office in Bellevue, Washington, I offer comprehensive estate planning services. I can help ensure your power of attorney documents account for your priorities.

Financial Power Of Attorney

A financial Power of Attorney allows someone you trust, whom you appoint as your Agent, to handle financial matters for you. Between spouses, this power is often effective immediately and is a convenience for one spouse to be able to sign for both. An alternate agent for finances can decrease the likelihood of a contested guardianship proceeding in the event that you are incapacitated for a period of time.

Below is a sample Financial Power of Attorney:




I, JOHN DOE (BORN 02-11-1979), pursuant to RCW § 11.125 (Uniform Power Of Attorney Act), declare this document to be my General Durable Power of Attorney for Finances. I do hereby make, constitute and appoint my spouse, JANE DOE (BORN 07/19/1971), and then BOB JONES, IN THAT ORDER, as my true and lawful Agent and Attorney-in-Fact to exercise all of the powers of absolute ownership over my property that I would have if alive and competent.

I expressly revoke all Powers of Attorney I may have previously made.

The purpose of this power of attorney is convenience for spouses, and to reduce the likelihood that the expense and time of a guardianship proceeding will be needed. If guardianship is needed then JOHN DOE appoints the Agent to be guardian confirmed by the Court.

For my spouse, JANE DOE, this power is effective immediately. The appointment of my spouse is revoked as of the date of filing upon filing of a petition for dissolution. Pursuant to RCW § 11.125.040, this Power of Attorney shall not be affected by disability of the Principal.

For others, if applicable, this Power of Attorney shall be effective only if I am incapacitated, and shall not be affected by my incapacitation. For purposes of this instrument, the term “incapacitated” shall mean the inability to make informed decisions in the ordinary course of business because of advanced age, illness, or other causes. The decision as to whether I am incapacitated, for purposes of this instrument, shall be made by a majority of my partner and my children, if any, who are then of legal age, or my alternate health care agent, with the concurring opinion of at least one physician.

My Agent and Attorney-in-Fact shall have the power in my name, place and stead to:

Ask, demand, sue for, collect and receive all sums of money and all property due and owing to me, and give receipts and discharges for such payments; Sell, assign and transfer stock and bonds and securities of all kinds in my name at such prices as shall seem proper to my Agent and Attorney-in-Fact; Make gifts, and the authority to pay compensation to the Agent.

Borrow money and pledge securities for loans; Use all credit cards in my name; Enter any safe deposit box of mine; Make gifts (including to a Trust pursuant to RCW § 11.125.240(1)(b)), including a waiver of the self-dealing prohibition so that agents, particularly spouses, can make gifts to themselves; Manage real property, sell, convey, and encumber realty; Place and effect insurance; Do business with banks; Endorse all checks and drafts made payable to my order and collect the proceeds; Sign in my name checks on all accounts standing in my name; Make such payments and expenditures as may be necessary.


Retain counsel and attorneys on my behalf, appear for me in all actions and proceedings to which I may be party in the Courts; Commence actions and proceedings in my name if necessary, sign and verify in my name all Complaints, Petitions, Answers and other Pleadings of every description; Make and verify income tax returns.

Have and exercise full power and authority to do and perform all and every act and thing whatsoever necessary to be done in the premises, as fully to all intents and purposes as I might or could do if personally present, with full power of substitution and revocation.

I hereby ratify and confirm all that my Attorney-in-Fact may do pursuant to this power

When exercising this Power of Attorney, my Agent shall sign the name, JOHN DOE, followed by the printed words: “by [my Agent’s Name], Attorney-in-Fact for JOHN DOE.”

Attach a copy of the General Durable Power of Attorney for Finances to the document signed.

Pursuant to RCW § 11.125.060 (4) … “a photocopy or electronically transmitted copy of an original power of attorney has the same effect as the original.”

Medical Power Of Attorney

A medical power of attorney allows your Agent to communicate with doctors, nurses and other medical care providers about your care. It also authorizes your Agent to sign consent forms for you when you are unable to do so for yourself, if this is what your agent believes you would want under the circumstances. Creating a medical power of attorney now, when you are of sound mind and body, decreases the possibility of a need for a guardianship proceeding or court intervention regarding your health care.

As your lawyer, I will register your medical power of attorney for you (along with your living will or advance health care directive) through the U.S. Living Will Registry. You will receive a card for your wallet with your agent’s telephone number on it. The card will have a code so that your documents can be accessed online.

Below is a sample Medical Power of Attorney:




I, JANE DOE (BORN 07/19/1971), pursuant to RCW § 11.125 (Uniform Power Of Attorney Act), declare this document to be my Durable Power of Attorney for Health Decisions.

I appoint my spouse, JOHN DOE (BORN 02-11-1979), and then BOB JONES, IN THAT ORDER, as my Agent and Attorney-in-Fact for Health care.

I expressly revoke all Powers of Attorney for Health Decisions I may have previously made.

The appointment of my spouse is revoked as of the date of filing upon filing of a petition for dissolution.

Pursuant to RCW § 11.125.040, this Power of Attorney shall not be affected by disability of the Principal.

The Power of Attorney is effective when I am unable to make or communicate Health care decisions, and shall not be affected by my disability as determined by my attending physician or designee, such as if I am unconscious, or if I am otherwise temporarily or permanently incapable of making health care decisions.

The Health care Agent’s power shall cease if and when I regain my capacity to make Health care decisions.

I hereby authorize the release of any and all complete health records for all past, present and future periods about JANE DOE to ANY AND ALL OF MY HEALTH CARE AGENTS under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 45 CFR Parts 160 and 164 for up to one year after my death.

I understand that redisclosure of my health information may not be protected by law. I understand that revocation is not effective to the extent that any party has acted in reliance on this authorization.

I give my Agent complete authority, to the same extent that I could make such decisions for myself if I was capable of doing so, to make decisions regarding my health and medical care, including without limitation, full power to give or refuse consent to all medical, surgical, hospital and other types of Health care.

My Estate shall hold harmless and indemnify my Agent from all liability for acts or omissions done in good faith.

This includes, but is not limited to, consent to initiate, continue, discontinue, or forgo medical care and treatment including artificially supplied nutrition and hydration, following and interpreting my instructions for the provision, withholding, or withdrawing of life-sustaining treatment, which are contained in any Health Care Directive or other form of “living will” I may have executed.

In exercising this Power of Attorney, my Agent shall make Health care decisions as I direct in this document, and as I make known to my Agent in another way. If I am able to communicate, my Agent should attempt to discuss Health care choices with me.

If I have not expressed a choice about the Health care in question, I direct my Agent to decide based upon my Agent’s knowledge of my values. If my Agent does not know what I would want or my values, then my Agent should decide based upon what my Agent believes to be in my best interest.

I hereby authorize my name to be listed on the Washington Organ Donor Registry and consent, upon my death, to donate any needed organs or tissues for which I am a candidate donor. I ask that my Agent for Health care and my family honor my wishes. Circle Yes or No Initials ____________

Pursuant to RCW § 11.125.060 (4) … “a photocopy or electronically transmitted copy of an original power of attorney has the same effect as the original.”

Contact Me At MLO For A Complimentary Legal Consultation

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14205 SE 36th St. Suite 100
Bellevue, WA 98006-1553


Phone: 425-998-6352
Fax: 425-223-3197

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Mulvaney Law Offices, PLLC, is located in Bellevue, Washington, representing estate planning & probate, chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy, and real estate transactions clients in Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, Redmond, Renton, Issaquah, Sammamish, Maple Valley, Burien, SeaTac, and throughout King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.