By granting an agent power of attorney, you authorizes the agent to act on your own behalf with regards to certain life decisions. The basic requirements for granting a power of attorney in Ohio are listed below, along with some tips for filling out your agreement.
Obtaining the Paperwork
Obtaining a boilerplate power of attorney form is quite easy. Most office supplies stores will sell the documents, and many forms will contain already contain the language required under Ohio law.
If you have already retained an estate-planning lawyer, he or she can provide you with the forms, or draft them entirely to more closely suit your needs.
Appoint a Trusted Agent
As an agent, your "attorney-in-fact" has the power to perform any duties outlined in your agreement.
A typical grant of power of attorney usually includes the ability to make financial, business, and medical decisions on behalf of the principal. Therefore, it is important to appoint a family member or close friend as your agent so that you are sure he or she is making decisions in your best interest and with your goals in mind.
Discuss Your Agreement
After choosing your agent, it is important that you sit down together and discuss the specifics of your agreement.
First, you should determine when the terms of your agreement begin and end. Ohio law does not mandate an expiration date, so you must set the dates in order to protect yourself from a potential abuse of power down the road.
Next, you must make sure that your agent is aware of his or her powers and confirm they are comfortable making these often-difficult decisions on your behalf.
Sign the Agreement
Once you have discussed your agreement with your agent, both of you must now sign the document. Ohio law requires your power of attorney agreement to be notarized. Most banks offer notary public services for free or a small fee.
Do You Need an Ohio Attorney?
While you may be able to execute your power of attorney agreement on your own, it is suggested you seek the advice of an estate planning attorney. An experienced estate lawyer can help craft the perfect agreement to suit your unique goals and needs, while also making sure your form meets all of Ohio’s legal requirements.