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What Is A Power of Attorney?

Although the prospects of tomorrow are unknown, you can establish safeguards for any situation by obtaining powers of attorney. These documents grant someone you trust the capacity to make essential decisions about your healthcare and monetary affairs if you become incapacitated.

With a power of attorney, your designated agent working on your behalf, will be authorized to handle your healthcare needs and manage your business and financial dealings.

When Should I Contact a Powers of Attorney Lawyer?

Procrastination isn’t an option with something as important as powers of attorney. Our St. Clairsville powers of attorney lawyer is ready to assist you immediately—contact us to start.

General and Healthcare Powers of Attorney

Types of Powers of Attorney

It’s a common practice among residents of St. Clairsville to integrate general and healthcare powers of attorney into their all-encompassing estate strategies. As per the law in Ohio, both types of powers of attorney retain their efficacy as durable, continuing to operate after an individual is mentally incapacitated.

General Powers of Attorney

The St. Clairsville attorney who concentrates on powers of attorney holds a key role in drafting these important documents, ensuring they align with Ohio’s contemporary legal guidelines and meet the client’s distinct desires. The general power of attorney, otherwise known as a financial power of attorney, entrusts legal rights to an appointed individual, called the attorney-in-fact or agent.

The agent’s purview, as explicitly stated in the document, encompasses numerous financial and business activities. The attorney-in-fact is authorized to manage banking transactions, engage with financial institutions, carry out real estate transfers, and oversee a variety of financial affairs of the principal.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A healthcare power of attorney, also called a medical POA, acts as a separate legal contract that bestows upon the attorney-in-fact the power to oversee healthcare decisions for the principal.

It covers decisions linked to medical procedures, end-of-life options, and the handling of medical finances. This power for the agent to make health decisions is only applicable if the principal is judged mentally incompetent to make sound health choices.

In Ohio, a power of attorney can also accommodate arrangements for a successor agent who would take over should the original agent be unable or unwilling to perform their duties. Provisions can be personalized with particular guidelines and constraints on the agent’s broad powers to protect the principal’s best interests.

Limited Power of Attorney

When a certain action or transaction calls for authorizing another person, the legal system in St. Clairsville, Ohio, facilitates the creation of a limited power of attorney. This document entrusts your selected representative, also referred to as an attorney-in-fact or POA agent, with the authority to take legal action within the narrow scope of the instructions in the document.

For instance, this document might be employed to allow someone to handle a single property transaction in your stead. The agent’s authority, however, is constrained to the explicit stipulations in the POA document, preventing them from taking any actions or making any decisions not included in the power of attorney.


The document can further contain precise instructions and conditions to preserve your best interests. It’s essential to understand that a limited power of attorney is effective solely for the specified tasks and time period, with the agent being legally committed to act within the prescribed scope in your best interests.

Reasons to Include Powers of Attorney in Your Estate Plan

Powers of attorney are vital components of your estate plan. With powers of attorney, you will:
  • Avoid guardianship
  • Designate a trusted person to manage your affairs
  • Ensure the fulfillment of your financial and medical needs
  • Have a plan in place for your loved ones

Is Your Current Power of Attorney Powerful Enough? Is it even Valid?

The nature of powers of attorney can differ greatly. In St. Clairsville, Ohio, the standard or state-provided Power of Attorney document offers a limited scope of authority to your agent. This might be the right choice if your agent’s tasks are to be limited or if your trust in the chosen individual is not complete.

However, if you want your agent to have the capacity to perform all the functions you are capable of, the statutory power of attorney may fall short. Many individuals will need advice on which authorities to grant in the document to serve their personal needs and those of their dependents should they become unable to act.

The Ohio Uniform Power of Attorney Act, effective since March 2012, may render any power of attorney executed before then as potentially non-valid. At the very least, it may not reflect your current situation a decade on.

It’s prudent, then, to have our powers of attorney lawyer in St. Clairsville, Ohio, evaluate your power of attorney to confirm that it adheres to legal requirements and matches your intentions for the future. If your old power of attorney document is insufficient, a new one can be drafted.

Choosing an Agent for Your Power of Attorney

Identifying the right person to act as your power of attorney agent requires attention to key characteristics. Ensure you select someone who is trustworthy and not prone to misusing their authority. They must understand their role and be prepared to make significant decisions in partnership with others.

The ideal candidate is often someone close to you, who has a keen eye for detail, can cope with demanding situations, and follows through on commitments. It’s sensible to name alternative agents as a contingency if your primary choice is unavailable to take on these duties. Consult with your St. Clairsville attorney, who oversees powers of attorney, about your options.

Powers of Attorney and Your Estate Plan

Ohio statutes prevent your agent from carrying out any actions that could undermine your set estate plan. The central objective of establishing an estate plan is to sidestep potential confusion, miscommunications, or unexpected developments that might lead to questions about your property and your desires. Ensure that everyone is on the same page by having your St. Clairsville powers of attorney lawyer create your estate plan. Then, the attorney can review it with your agent if you wish. Contact us today and schedule a consultation to take the first steps.
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Frequently Asked Questions

A Power of Attorney (POA), as defined under Ohio law, is a legal document that confers legal authority to an appointed individual, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact. This authority empowers the agent to act on behalf of the person executing the POA, commonly referred to as the principal. In the context of estate planning, a POA serves as a crucial tool that allows for the designation of a trusted individual to oversee vital matters. These matters can extend across a broad spectrum, encompassing financial and business matters, healthcare decisions, and even interactions with financial institutions. The agent’s authority, as laid out in the POA document, can range from managing bank accounts and transferring real estate to making critical healthcare decisions, such as end-of-life care and medical treatment. The scope of this authority is typically defined by the principal’s needs and the current Ohio law. An essential aspect of a POA under Ohio law is its potential durability. A durable POA, whether it be a durable financial POA or a healthcare POA, maintains its validity even if the principal becomes mentally incapacitated. This durability ensures that the agent can continue to make financial decisions or healthcare decisions on behalf of the principal without the need for court intervention. However, creating a POA requires the principal to be a mentally competent adult capable of understanding the implications of their actions. It’s important to note that under Ohio law, the POA automatically ends if the principal passes away or if a court invalidates it. In the hands of a knowledgeable St. Clairsville power of attorney lawyer, a POA can be drafted with specific instructions and stipulations tailored to the principal’s best interests. The attorney can ensure the POA complies with the legal requirements set forth in the Ohio revised code and can provide vital legal information to the principal.

A General Power of Attorney grants broad powers to the agent, allowing them to handle various financial and legal matters on behalf of the principal. This includes managing bank accounts, real estate transactions, and legal proceedings. Unlike limited POAs, general POAs are comprehensive and do not have specific restrictions.

While a General Power of Attorney focuses on financial and legal matters, a Healthcare Power of Attorney is specific to healthcare decisions. It grants the agent the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal if they are unable to do so. This ensures that the principal’s medical preferences are honored, even if they cannot communicate them.
A Limited Power of Attorney restricts the agent’s authority to specific tasks or transactions. This could include managing a particular property, handling a business matter, selling a car, or any other limited scope defined in the document. Limited POAs are useful when the principal only wants to delegate authority for a specific purpose.

Having a Power of Attorney in place provides peace of mind and ensures that someone trusted by the principal can manage their affairs if they become incapacitated. This can help avoid the need for court-appointed guardianship, streamline decision-making, and protect the individual’s interests according to their wishes.

Consulting with an attorney, especially one specifically focused on elder law and estate planning like Jarvis Law Office, ensures that the POA is drafted correctly and complies with St. Clairsville, Ohio’s legal requirements. An attorney can help customize the document based on the individual’s unique circumstances, minimizing the risk of misunderstandings or legal challenges.

Yes, a well-crafted Power of Attorney can be a valuable tool in Medicaid planning and asset protection. It allows the agent to manage financial matters, making it possible to engage in strategic planning to qualify for Medicaid benefits while protecting assets. The knowledgeable Power of Attorney lawyers at Jarvis Law can assist in creating a comprehensive plan tailored to the client’s needs.

Please note that the information provided here is general in nature and should not be considered legal advice. It is recommended to consult with an attorney from Jarvis Law Office to obtain personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.

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