A power of attorney is a legal designation that allows one person to make decisions on behalf of another. In Ohio, there are different kinds of powers of attorney – financial and personal.
Sometimes, people may need help making medical decisions if they cannot advocate for themselves. Other times, people may need assistance with financial decisions, such as someone responsible enough to pay bills and taxes or ensure that a trust is properly managed. As people get older, they often need a little extra help.
Knowing that you have a power of attorney in place can give you peace of mind that your wishes will be followed in the event you aren’t able to express them yourself.
However, a power of attorney has significant responsibilities to their ward. This is why having an experienced probate attorney is essential. If you’re contemplating a power of attorney, contact Slater & Zurz, LLP at (330) 762-0700. Our experienced Akron legal team can help you understand all matters related to power of attorney.
A power of attorney (POA) is typically used when an individual cannot handle their own financial affairs. POA can also be used as part of estate planning, preparing a plan in case you’re incapacitated in the future, such as in a coma or a severe accident.
The person granted the permission to act on behalf of another is referred to as the “attorney in fact” or “agent.” However, they do not have to be an actual attorney. For example, spouses may be a personal or medical care power of attorney for one another, making health care decisions that they know their loved one would prefer.
The person who authorizes the power of attorney authority to the agent is referred to as the “grantor,” “principal,” or “donor.”
If this sounds complicated, that’s because a power of attorney can significantly restrict the ward’s rights. Ohio state law is constructed to protect the individual’s rights while still allowing their best interests to be represented.
A power of attorney lawyer in Akron, like those at Slater & Zurz, can help you establish a POA and designate a responsible individual to act on your behalf should it become necessary. Call us today at (330) 762-0700.
POA is a compelling legal document and can either be very general, such as protecting the personal care and finances of an elderly or relative, or very limited in scope, granting the ability to make healthcare decisions or handle some aspects of the ward’s finances.
The manner in which the POA is constructed will spell out the responsibilities and duties of the attorney-in-fact.
Ohio law allows for several types of power of attorney. A healthcare POA is a common type of estate planning document that names someone to make medical decisions on behalf of another.
Adults with elderly or chronically ill parents may initiate a power of attorney in the event their loved one is ill. Or parents who have a child with a serious healthcare concern may have a power of attorney lawyer draft a POA to ensure that they can make healthcare decisions for their child once they turn 18.
Financial power of attorney allows the agent to make real estate, trust, or other financial decisions for the principal. This may help elderly individuals who need help managing their finances while in long-term care or in the hospital.
A durable power of attorney can be either medical or financial and comes into effect when the individual isn’t able to make their own decisions. Up until that point, they may make their own decisions. This is an essential protection in case of an unexpected accident or medical event.
Finally, a general power of attorney gives unlimited power to the agent to make decisions on behalf of the grantor but usually has a start and end date. This may be used for individuals traveling out of the country, such as on military deployment or otherwise unable to handle their affairs during the stated time frame.
In order for a power of attorney to be legally valid and binding, it must comply with Ohio state laws. To ensure that your POA document does so, work with a qualified Akron power of attorney lawyer.
The attorney-in-fact of an Ohio power of attorney must meet certain requirements. First, the person must be of sound mind, which means that they have to have the same mental capacity as a person who enters into a contract.
This is a stricter requirement than someone who is writing a last will and testament, which is why consulting with an attorney for POA is essential.
Although Ohio laws don’t require power of attorney documents to be notarized, it’s always better to have the agent’s signature notarized, as many financial and other institutions may not recognize the POA as valid unless it is notarized. Many Akron lawyers for power of attorney may offer notary public services.
- Hire a power of attorney lawyer to draft the document for you
- Sign the POA document, preferably in the presence of a notary public
- Store the original document in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box
- Provide your attorney-in-fact with a copy of the document
If the document grants real estate transaction permission, file a copy of the POA with the land records office.
You may also wish to give a copy of the POA to your financial institutions or other agencies that your agent may have to deal with in the future. This can streamline the decision-making process for the agent.
However, some financial institutions may not have the ability to retain a copy of your POA on file, so check with yours before sending them one.
If you own land, real estate, bank accounts or investment accounts, or expensive jewelry, art, or antiques, having a financial power of attorney grantor to manage these on your behalf is important.
For example, some elderly people may experience cognitive decline or have diminished capacity and may take up residence in an assisted living or memory care facility. In these cases, they may have retirement income that is used to pay for their monthly expenses but needs someone else to manage this for them.
Or these individuals may be unable to make proper health care decisions for themselves. Elderly adults with dementia or other chronic health concerns may need someone to determine the level of care they require.
Active military members may also wish to designate a parent or spouse to hold the power of attorney while they are deployed. They may become injured or otherwise out of contact and unable to handle their financial affairs.
Other people who have jobs that take them abroad or out of contact may also wish to have a durable POA. These jobs can include those working on oil rigs or construction overseas. If you’re considering a job like this, consult with a lawyer for power of attorney to help you construct a document that meets your needs.
You can get a power of attorney document by retaining service from an attorney for power of attorney. These are usually law firms specializing in estate planning, wills and testaments, or business law.
Slater & Zurz is a reliable Akron law firm with experience in creating POA documents that comply with Ohio law. Becoming a power of attorney is a heavy responsibility, so make sure that the person you designate is someone you trust, lives nearby, and is readily available to handle your affairs.
A general power of attorney is a power of attorney designated for a specific period of time when the grantor will be unable to make financial decisions or advocate for their medical needs.
A durable power of attorney, on the other hand, allows the principal to make their own decisions up until the point that they’re unable to. This could be when old age renders them unable to, or if they have an unexpected medical issue that doesn’t allow them to understand treatment options or consent to specific ones they want.
A power of attorney allows the agent to make financial decisions, medical decisions, or both. This can include paying bills or investing money. It can also include conducting real estate transactions or managing retirement accounts.
However, the agent cannot change the individual’s last will and testament, even if they believe the changes would be in the grantor’s best interests.
Do you need to include a power of attorney in your estate planning? Slater & Zurz can help. We are Akron probate attorneys with plenty of experience creating specific long-term legal protection for your unique situation. Call us today at (330) 762-0700 when you need an experienced power of attorney lawyer in Akron.