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Law

WA Senate Bill 5370

Notary Law Update: WA Senate Bill 5370

State: Washington

Summary:
Senate Bill 5370 now allows a behavioral power of attorney for health care to be notarized.

Signed:  May 12, 2021

Effective:  July 25, 2021

Chapter: 287

Affects:

Amends Sections 71.32.010, 71.32.020, 71.32.020, 71.32.030, 71.32.040, 71.32.050, 71.32.060, 71.32.070, 71.32.100, 71.32.110, 71.32.130, 71.32.170, 71.32.180, 71.32.210, 71.32.220, 71.32.250, and 71.34.755 of, reenacts and amends RCW 71.32.020, 71.32.140, and 71.32.260 of; and adds a new section to Chapter 71.32 of the Revised Statutes of Washington.

Changes:
  1. Adds notarization to the allowable witnessing requirements for a mental health care directive.
  2. Modifies the statutory power of attorney for behavioral health care to include a hybrid acknowledgment/jurat certificate.
  3. Provides that a person who is at least 13 years of age but under the age of majority is considered to have the capacity for the purpose of executing a behavioral health advance directive if the person is able to demonstrate that they are capable of making informed decisions related to behavioral health care.
Analysis:

Behavioral directives and powers of attorney are becoming more common. Previously, a behavioral power of attorney for health care could only by witnessed by two adult witnesses, but Senate Bill 5370 now will allow them to be notarized or witnessed. This gives the principal signing the power of attorney greater flexibility if the principal cannot find two witnesses.

Read the bill text.

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