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What Is Power of Attorney in Ohio?

 Posted on May 20, 2024 in Estate Planning

Wadsworth estate planning lawyerAssigning power of attorney to a trusted person gives family members or another designated individual the power to make important decisions on your behalf. A power of attorney is typically used in cases where you are unable to make medical or end-of-life decisions for yourself.

Many people may be somewhat familiar with the concept of power of attorney. However, it is important to understand the specifics of how incorporating it into your estate planning might be helpful. An Ohio estate planning lawyer can answer your questions about assigning power of attorney in your estate.

Ohio Power of Attorney: The Basics

In Ohio, the Uniform Power of Attorney Act details the specifics of power of attorney and when it might be used. Under this act, there are two main types of power of attorney that you may be able to incorporate into your estate plan or will:

  • Power of attorney for healthcare
  • Power of attorney for finances or property

The person who grants another person authority to make his or her decisions is called the ‘principal.’ In contrast, the person designated as having power of attorney will be called the ‘agent.’ The principal may grant general decision-making authority over all things medical-related in a power of attorney for healthcare, or he or she may allow the agent to make decisions in certain circumstances or cases, such as only allowing the agent to make a healthcare choice when he or she is in a coma.

Certain financial power of attorney decisions the agent might be able to make include:

  • Decisions related to managing retirement accounts
  • Handling real estate property
  • Buying and selling stocks or bonds

The most important takeaway to keep in mind when thinking about power of attorney is that the person whom you dedicate as having financial or medical power of attorney will have the legal decision-making authority on your behalf when you cannot make decisions yourself.

Do I Need to Assign Power of Attorney?

While you are not required to assign power of attorney within your will or estate plan, doing so is generally recommended. With a power of attorney for your important financial, property, and healthcare decisions in place, you will not need to worry about your wishes being honored and assets being handled if you become unable to make decisions for yourself.

However, as you are assigning a power of attorney, you should make sure that you select a family member or trusted individual who can uphold the responsibilities associated with acting as a power of attorney.

Contact a Wadsworth, OH Estate Planning Lawyer

Estate planning is essential if you want to be sure about what happens to your estate and assets after you pass. Assigning power of attorney is often key to planning your end-of-life medical care and financial decisions. A Medina County, OH estate planning attorney will help you further understand how the power of attorney may benefit you.

At The Law Office of Whitney K.S. Miller, LLC, Attorney Whitney Miller is especially skilled at drafting complex estate plans and trusts. His dedicated yet compassionate demeanor sets his clients at ease. Contact 330-725-4114 to learn more; we offer free consultations in most cases.

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