Table of Contents
- Download a Ohio Power of Attorney Template
- Ohio Power of Attorney Requirements
- Reasons to Draft a Power of Attorney
- Potential Powers Granted to Agents
- When an Agent’s Duties End and Begin
- Revoking of a POA
- Changes to Ohio’s POA Act
- Granting an Agent Medical Powers
1. Download a Ohio Power of Attorney Template
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2. Ohio Power of Attorney Requirements
Any adults in Ohio who have assets should establish a power of attorney (POA) before they no longer have the abilities to handle their own affairs.
A POA is a legal agreement in which a principal appoints an “agent” or “attorney in fact” to handle his/her financial, business, and personal transactions. In adherence of Chapter 1337, Title  XIII Commercial Transactions of the Ohio Uniform Commercial Code, a POA grants an agent the power to handle a host of duties, including banking transactions, the buying and selling of properties, paying bills, and other duties specifically named in the document.
A valid power of attorney requires:
- The complete name, address, and signature of the principal
- The complete name and address of the agent
- The date of the contract
- The powers granted to the agent
- The start and expiration dates of the powers
- A signature and date from a notary
In general, POAs do not need to be recorded. However, any agent that is granted the authority to handle real property transactions must have the document recorded at the office of the county recorder and completed in the county where the property is located. Similar to deeds and mortgages, once the POA is recorded, it must be certified by the county recorder and affixed with the recorder’s official seal.
Power of Attorney PDF Sample
The power of attorney (POA) sample below gives “Agent” Audrey T Lancaster the authority to make financial decisions in the event that “Principal” Micheal C Townsley is incapacitated. Audrey has the authority to handle issues dealing with Micheal property, stocks, insurance, and business.Ohio Power of Attorney (Financial)
3. Reasons to Draft a Power of Attorney
Before a person becomes unable to handle financial and business decisions due to injury or illness, establishing a valid power of attorney can make the transition easier on family and loved ones.
A POA leaves all of the guesswork over who handles important personal and financial decisions when a person suffers a sudden stroke or has a serious accident that leaves the individual with diminished mental capacity. It not only takes the burden off of the person’s loved ones, but it also ensures all of their financial needs, such as maintaining insurance policies and retirement benefits, are met.
Additionally, if there is no POA, Ohio county probate courts can name a guardian if and when necessary, such as when a person becomes mentally incapacitated. It is more efficient and less expensive to use a POA than to wait for a court-supervised guardian.
4. Potential Powers Granted to Agents
Though downloadable durable power of attorney forms for Ohio can be found at county law library sites, individuals can create their own forms. When creating any POA, the principal determines the scope of the agent’s authority.
Using Ohio’s POA form, a principal must write their initials next to the duties he/she wants an agent to handle. The classes of powers an agent may be granted include:
- Annuities and insurance
- Banks and other financial institutions
- Benefits from civil, military service, or governmental programs, such as Social Security or Medicaid
- Bonds and stocks
- Business or entity operations
- Claims and litigation
- Commodities and options
- Estates, trusts, and other beneficial interests
- Personal and family maintenance
- Real property, such as real estate
- Tangible personal property, such as furniture, tools, machines, and computers
Powers requiring specific authorization
When drafting a POA, the principal should choose a trustworthy, responsible agent and carefully consider what types of powers the person will be granted.
Agents cannot handle the following tasks unless the POA specifically authorizes them:
- Create or change a trust
- Create or change rights of survivorship
- Give away a principal’s property
- Change beneficiary designations
- Permit people, other than the name agent, to act
- Waive the principal’s right to be a beneficiary of a joint and survivor annuity, including one under a retirement plan
In Ohio, these duties need to be specifically addressed in a power of attorney because they are the types of powers that agents are most likely to abuse. If a principal wants an attorney-in-fact to handle any of these powers, they should be addressed in the “Special Instructions” section of the form.
5. When an Agent’s Duties End and Begin
In Ohio, all powers of attorney are durable, which means that the agent can act even if the principal becomes incapacitated, unless the document states otherwise. An agent’s power begins immediately if no start time is listed. If the document fails to list a specific end date or time frame, the authority of an attorney-in-fact ends when the principal dies or formally revokes it in writing.
Springing Power of Attorney
Springing power of attorney documents state that an agent’s powers “spring” into action at a future date or when a particular event, such as when a principal no longer has the mental capacity to make decisions, occurs.
6. Revoking of a POA
If at any time a person wants to cancel an agent’s powers, the principal can do so by revoking a power of attorney. A downloadable Notice of Revocation of Power of Attorney is available at county law libraries. Individuals also can create their own. A revocation power of attorney form must include the names of the agent and principal and the date; and it must be notarized.
If an agent was granted the power to handle real property transfers or sales, the revocation must be recorded in the same county office in which the POA was recorded.
7. Changes to Ohio’s POA Act
In March 2012, Ohio updated its Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA), changing the law governing POAs. The changes were made to prevent financial elder abuse, as well as how to handle it when the crime is discovered.
Statutory “Short” POA
Now, the law includes a statutory “short” POA form that also describes how agents can avoid abusing their powers. Additionally, it lists an “Important Information for Agent” section, thoroughly explaining an agent’s duties and responsibilities and that said person is to loyally act on behalf of a principal.
Any person that violates the law or acts outside the powers outlined in a POA may be liable for damages caused by the violation.
8. Granting an Agent Medical Powers
A general power of attorney does not authorize an agent to handle medical or health care decisions. To authorize an agent to consent to health care treatment, remove a principal from a health care facility against medical advice, or other medical decisions, a principal must create a health care power of attorney.
County law libraries in Ohio provide downloadable health care power of attorney forms. Whether individuals use the downloadable form or a customized one, a health care power of attorney form must be signed by two witnesses or notarized.
The following people cannot serve as witnesses:
- The agent listed on the health care POA
- The guardian for the principal or his/her estate
- An alternate or successor agent for the POA
- Any individuals related by blood, marriage, or adoption, such as a spouse, children, or sibling
- The principal’s attending physician
- Any administrator of any nursing facility where the principal receives care