Powers of Attorney
Lawyer in Columbus, Ohio
According to a 2018 study by Merrill in partnership with Age Wave, only about 18% of American adults aged 55 and older have a will, durable power of attorney, and advanced directive. Getting your affairs in order involves preparing for your later years and creating a detailed end-of-life plan. Should you become unable to make crucial decisions about your health, assets, and finances, establishing a power of attorney ensures that someone you trust can step in and make those decisions on your behalf.
If you are considering establishing a power of attorney, consulting with an experienced Ohio estate planning attorney is crucial for proper guidance. I'm committed to offering experienced legal guidance and support in estate planning-related matters, including powers of attorney. I'm available to discuss your personal situation and explore your estate planning options. I can guide you through the legal process of drafting your power of attorney and work diligently to address your needs and concerns.
I serve clients in Columbus, Ohio, and throughout Central Ohio. Call me today to schedule a consultation.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person (the “principal”) to appoint another person (the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”) to help manage or make decisions regarding legal, property, financial, or tax affairs in the event that the principal becomes unavailable or unable to act on their own behalf.
According to Ohio Revised Code Title 13 Section 1337.60, "a power of attorney authorizes another person (your agent) to make decisions concerning your property for you (the principal). Your agent will be able to make decisions and act with respect to your property (including your money) whether or not you are able to act for yourself."
Types of Powers of Attorney in Ohio
Here are the different types of powers of attorney recognized under Ohio law:
General Power of Attorney
In Ohio, a general or financial power of attorney gives the agent or attorney-in-fact the legal authority and power to act on the principal's behalf in just about any matter. These include opening financial accounts, managing finances, entering into contracts, and selling or buying a property.
Limited Power Of Attorney
A limited power of attorney, also known as special power of attorney, allows the agent to act on the principal's behalf in certain matters listed in the document. This may include a single transaction or making bank withdrawals for a specified period.
Healthcare Power Of Attorney
A healthcare power of attorney, sometimes included in advance directives, allows the agent to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the principal in the event that the principal becomes unconscious, mentally incompetent, or otherwise unable to make such decisions.
Springing Power of Attorney
In Ohio, a springing power of attorney goes into effect if the principal were to become mentally incapacitated, or otherwise unable to act on their own behalf, but allows the principal to state the specific events that will execute the power of attorney.
Under current Ohio law, all powers of attorney are durable. Unless the POA document specifically states otherwise, the agent can act when the principal becomes incapacitated.
Factors to Consider
Here are some essential factors to take into consideration when choosing your power of attorney:
Trust — When choosing your power of attorney, ensure that you delegate the authority to a reliable and trusted person who has your best interests at heart, will respect your true wishes, and won't abuse their privileges.
Attention to Detail — Be sure that you choose an agent who can keep detailed and accurate records of all transactions performed on your behalf.
Understanding of the Duties — You need to choose a person who has a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities, is willing to take on the task, and execute designated actions diligently.
Proximity — You should consider choosing a person who lives near you. This ensures that the person can be present when the need arises.
Decision Making — Choose an agent who is capable of making the right decisions, even when under possibly strenuous circumstances.
Collaboration — The person you are choosing to have power of attorney must be willing to collaborate or work together with your accountant, advisor, attorney, and other parties if needed.
Work With a Knowledgeable Attorney
Choosing a power of attorney to protect your finances, property, and healthcare interests requires thorough consideration. Should you become unavailable or fall victim to an unfortunate event, having this document in place can give you confidence and peace of mind that your choices about your financial life, assets, and medical care are in trusted hands. A knowledgeable Ohio estate planning attorney will offer you detailed guidance and help you make informed decisions.
I advise all my clients to choose a trustworthy and reliable person to have power of attorney. As your legal representative, I will work diligently to address your needs and concerns and establish an estate plan that best suits your goals and unique needs. Using my extensive experience, I will help you craft a strategic estate plan that protects your assets, investments, and your family's future and best interests. I can guide you through all the steps involved in the legal process and help you choose the right agent.
POWERS OF ATTORNEY LAWYER SERVING COLUMBUS, OHIO
If you need knowledgeable guidance in choosing your power of attorney, contact me — Gregory, L. Williams, Jr., Esq., Partner — today to schedule a one-on-one consultation. I can offer you the experienced legal counsel and advocacy you need to make key decisions along the way. My firm proudly serves clients in Columbus, Ohio, and throughout Central Ohio.