When people in Ohio want to grant someone power of attorney (POA), they must do so through a written document that complies with specific state laws. The person receiving the power of attorney, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, does not have to create or even sign the document. Always talk to a qualified attorney if you need legal advice about your Ohio power of attorney, as these laws and requirements are complicated and subject to change at any time.
Reviewing the POA Document
Review the POA document for the required elements. Ohio powers of attorney must be signed by the person granting the power, known as the principal. If the principal wants the POA to continue even after he has become disabled or unable to make decisions, the POA must indicate this desire and state that the agent's power will not terminate on the principal's incapacity.
Understanding the Specific Powers Granted
A power of attorney can grant you various rights, including the right to make financial decisions, health care decisions and even the ability to transfer real estate. If the POA does grant you the right convey interests in real estate, the principal must have it notarized, according to Ohio Revised Code section 1337.01.
Determining Need for Notarized Form
Certain third parties may not recognize a POA unless it is signed or notarized by the attorney-in-fact. Talk to the principal about the third parties with whom you are expected to interact and then ask those parties what is required of you before they recognize your power as attorney-in-fact.
Signing and Notarizing POA
Sign and notarize the POA document. You can sign or notarize the POA if the principal requires it of you. You can also have your signature witnessed by uninterested parties and have them affirm on the document that they witnessed you sign it.
Court-Appointed Guardian for POA
In cases where an individual becomes mentally incapacitated (and has not granted a POA to someone) and unable to handle his finances, a court may appoint a guardian for the incapacitated person. The guardian receives power of attorney to act on the person's behalf.
Filing POA in Ohio
File the power of attorney. If you are authorized to convey any interest in land on behalf of the principal, you must file a copy of the POA with the county recorder in the county or counties where the property is located, according to Ohio Revised Code section 1337.04.
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