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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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Do I really need a power of attorney in Ohio?

You may never need to use a power of attorney. But it is an important legal document to have when the unexpected happens.

If you are in an accident and lose consciousness for a significant time, you will need someone to pay your bills for you. Powers of attorney allow another person to take these actions for you without waiting for a court to become involved.

A power of attorney can also be helpful even when you are healthy. For example, if you must leave the state or country for several weeks or months, you can appoint an agent to handle matters that you cannot manage from afar.

Jeff_Burtka_image

Written by:

Jeff Burtka, Esq.

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

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How to get a POA in Ohio

Understand How a POA Works in Ohio

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person (the principal) to give another person (the agent or attorney in fact) the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the principal. The agent’s actions under a power of attorney are binding on the principal.

In Ohio, there are two main powers of attorney: the power of attorney and the durable power of attorney for health care. The power of attorney gives an agent the authority to manage the principal’s property, finances, business matters, and personal matters.

The durable power of attorney for health care is a power of attorney that exclusively deals with the principal’s health care. You can learn more about the durable power of attorney for health care here.

Decide why you want a power of attorney

You can give broad or limited authority under a power of attorney. These are the kinds of questions you should ask yourself when deciding what powers to give your agent or attorney in fact:

  • Do you only want someone to care for you and your finances when you cannot do so?
  • Do you want someone to help you manage your finances or property when you are healthy?
  • Are you busy or traveling and want someone to handle a specific transaction for you?

After you think about these questions, you can fill out your form to give your agents the authority you want them to have.

Choose your agents

An agent for a power of attorney should be someone that makes smart decisions about money and property. You can have multiple powers of attorney if you want to give different agents different powers. However, be careful not to have too many powers of attorney to keep track of.

You can also name two or more people as co-agents under a financial power of attorney. Each co-agent will be able to act independently unless your power of attorney says they must act together. In most cases, you should avoid co-agents to prevent confusion and disagreement.

Finally, you should name one or more successor agents to take over if your original agent is unable or unwilling to act.

Get your form and fill it out

Find the right form for you. We offer easy-to-use forms that walk you through the process and have been created by lawyers.

Sign your form with the correct number of witnesses

If you fill out your form without signing it correctly, it will not be a valid power of attorney. For a power of attorney, you need to sign it before a notary public.

Give your form to everyone who needs it

Having a power of attorney is useless if the right people do not have it. You should give a copy of each power of attorney to the agent or attorney in fact. You also can give copies of your power of attorney to businesses or people that your agent will deal with.

Suppose your agent has the authority to conduct a real estate transaction for you. In that case, you will need to file the POA in the county recorder’s office where the property is located.

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

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Common questions about powers of attorney in Ohio

There are several types of powers of attorney in Ohio:

Durable Financial Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is a power of attorney that remains effective when you are incapacitated. Under Ohio law, a power of attorney is durable unless it states that it is terminated by the principal’s incapacity.

Nondurable Financial Power of Attorney

A nondurable power of attorney terminates when the principal is incapacitated. For a financial power of attorney, incapacity means that the principal cannot manage property or business affairs because of any of the following:

  • An impaired ability to receive and evaluate information
  • An impaired ability to make or communicate decisions
  • The principal is missing
  • The principal is detained or in prison
  • The principal is outside of the country and unable to return

Springing Power of Attorney

In Ohio, a financial power of attorney is effective immediately after it is signed and notarized unless it states that it is effective at a future date or upon the occurrence of a future event. If it is effective later or follows a specific event, it is called a springing power of attorney.

The most common reason people use a springing power of attorney is to allow an agent to act only during incapacity. A springing power of attorney sounds like a good idea. However, they can cause confusion or delay because your agent will need proof that the event has occurred. If you trust someone enough to manage your finances when you are incapacitated, you should be able to trust that they will not abuse a power of attorney.

Power of Attorney for Grandparents

Ohio has a special power of attorney that allows grandparents to have most of a parent’s legal rights to care for a child. This includes the ability to enroll a child in school, make health care decisions for the child, and obtain the child’s health and school records. This power of attorney is limited to grandparents.

You likely do not need a lawyer to help you make a power of attorney. Powers of attorney are easy to create if you have an easy-to-complete form like the ones we offer above.

If you have concerns about who your agent should be or how much power to give your agent, you can consult with an attorney licensed in Ohio.

If you want to revoke a power of attorney, you should revoke it in writing and sign it before a notary public. You should give the revocation to your agent, your banks and financial institutions, and any business or person your agent has done business with.

If your power of attorney includes the power to conduct real estate transactions, you must file the revocation in the same county recorder’s office where you filed the power of attorney.

A power of attorney also will terminate when any of the following happens:

  • The principal dies
  • The principal becomes incapacitated, and it is a nondurable power of attorney
  • The power of attorney has a termination date
  • The power of attorney’s purpose is accomplished
  • The principal revokes the original agent’s authority, and there is no successor agent or co-agent
  • The original agent dies, resigns, or becomes incapacitated, and there is no successor agent or co-agent

An agent’s authority also will terminate if the principal and agent are married and they legally separate or file for divorce unless the power of attorney says it will survive any of these events.

Finally, creating a new power of attorney does not revoke an old one unless the new power of attorney states that it does.

Revoking a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

If you do not revoke your power of attorney for health care, it will not expire unless you list an expiration date. However, if you are incapacitated on the expiration date, the power of attorney will remain in effect until you regain capacity.

You may revoke your durable power of attorney for health care at any time by any manner, including:

  • Telling your attending physician your intent to revoke it
  • Telling another health care professional your intent to revoke it (However, the revocation will not be effective until they tell the attending physician)
  • Creating a new durable power of attorney for health care

Suppose you are not receiving medical care when you revoke your power of attorney. In that case, you should let your attorney know and inform your primary physician that you have revoked it.

If you have elderly parents who you think need a power of attorney, you can help them create their own if they are competent.

If they are not competent or there is any question about their ability to understand what they are signing, you should not have them create a power of attorney. In this case, you should contact an attorney licensed in Ohio who can help you petition a court to give you or another trusted adult the power to make decisions for your parents.

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