What Is a Durable Power of Attorney Document?
A durable Power of Attorney document gives someone authority to act on someone else’s behalf in business matters; this document is sometimes called the financial durable power of attorney. A durable healthcare power of attorney or healthcare POA gives the agent or proxy permission to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal.
Who Can Be an Agent?
Agents must be legal adults and mentally competent themselves. The agents or attorneys in fact appointed by a durable power of attorney can be relatives, friends, neighbors, lawyers, financial advisors or even institutions like banks or law firms.
A durable power of attorney document can give family members like your children or grandchildren permission to make financial or legal decisions in the case that you are incapacitated. Or you can appoint a bank officer to handle your trust or financial holdings.
The default power of attorney forms provided in the Ohio legal code only have fields for the agent’s address and phone number. It would be wise to include the person’s Social Security number as well.
Are Agents Compensated for Their Work?
Agents are entitled per section 1337.60 to reasonable compensation for their time and reimbursement of their expenses. However, you can state in the power of attorney form that someone should not be compensated for their effort.
Ohio’s code states that agents cannot use property to their benefit unless they are an ancestor, the principal’s spouse or a descendant without explicit permission being given in the POA’s special instructions.
Ohio’s revised code Section 1337 addresses several types of power of attorney forms and the laws pertaining to them. Ohio’s power of attorney laws have been amended over time, with some of the most drastic changes going into effect in 2012.
Ohio Power Of Attorney Forms
The standard Ohio power of attorney form is part of Section 1337.18. While this form is not mandatory for creating a POA in the state of Ohio, its language covers all legal requirements for a power of attorney document. If you want to create a power of attorney document, it is best to contact a legal professional.
Expiration and Revocation of POA
Ohio law states that the revocation of a power of attorney has to be recorded unless the power of attorney had an expiration date on it.
Real estate power of attorney documents, such as those that permit an agent to sell a home for you, must be signed and acknowledged the same what deeds and mortgages are documented. In these cases, the power of attorney document may be limited to a specific transaction, and the agent has no further authority once the property is sold or transferred.
Recent Changes to Ohio Power of Attorney Law
In 2012, Ohio modified its durable power of attorney law to expand the authority POA agents had. For example, the agent in the POA could now give away property, create a new trust, alter living trusts, and alter the beneficiaries on retirement accounts and insurance policies.
The 2012 Uniform Power of Attorney Act prohibits agents from acting beyond the authority granted in the POA form. For example, the agent doesn’t have financial power of attorney unless the POA form specifically grants this power.
The 2011 bill increased the liability of agents who act improperly – or fail to act as the POA requires. The agent is required to keep records of all transactions made on behalf of the principal, to create a paper trail that can be reviewed by others. The agent must identify himself when acting on behalf of the principal. The agent listed in the durable power of attorney is not always the same person who acts as a health care agent; when these are two separate individuals, they must cooperate with each other. Ohio allows a power of attorney form to designate more than one agent. The agents can act independently unless the POA form states they must act in agreement or through a majority decision.
Not all power of attorney documents created prior to 2012 are in compliance with the new law. Have an attorney review the document to ensure that it is still conforms to the law.