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What should I know about creating a Power of Attorney?

Ohio's New Law for Powers of Attorney

Ohio law related to Power of Attorney (POA) documents changed as of March 22, 2012. The old law was replaced with a new law called The Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA). This new law helps Ohioans because Ohio laws about POAs will now be similar to the law in many other states.

The new law (UPOAA) has four parts. The first part states the rules for creating and using a power of attorney. The second part defines the authority that can be given to an agent in a POA document. The third part provides a sample form people can use who want to create a POA for property. The fourth part deals with other laws and powers of attorney that were created before the law changed.

The new law provides that a power of attorney created under the UPOAA is "durable" unless the document states otherwise. "Durable" means the POA is effective even if the person who creates it becomes incapacitated. If you do not want your POA to be effective if you become incapacitated, then you must say so in the POA document. The new law also provides that a POA is effective when executed unless it specifically says that it becomes effective at a future date or when a future event occurs.

This change in the law is a good reminder to review your documents and make sure your affairs are in order. If you have a POA created before March 22, 2012, it is valid as long as it met the requirements of Ohio law at the time you created it. If you do not have a POA, now would be a good time to create one.

Legal Aid helps low-income seniors with POAs, health care directives, and wills. Call 1.888.817.3777 to speak with an Intake Specialist at Legal Aid about getting help creating these documents.

This FAQ was a story in Volume 28, Issue 1 of "The Alert" - a newsletter for seniors published by Legal Aid.   Click here to read the full issue.

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