In my experience yes, it's a good idea so it is not contested. There are some good resources on WA law help. http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org
Depending on the situation, you may want to speak with an attorney. If it is an older family member, he/she may need a durable power of attorney rather than just power of attorney documents.
None of my answers on avvo are intended as legal advice, and by answering questions, you are not my client. Always speak to an attorney.
Interestingly in WA, a power of attorney does not need to be witnessed the way a will does, but a POA does need to be notarized to be effective. Has nothing to do with whether the POA extends to authorization to deal with real estate, or not.
Using Avvo does not form an attorney client relationship.
A general power of attorney is a dangerous thing. I say this because the agent has all the power to deal with property without any personal accountability. Estate planning documents have hidden issues that can bite you. For example, most Wills do not control most property at a person's death. It is wise to seek legal counsel about any estate matter.
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