Ohio Power of Attorney Forms
The Ohio Power of Attorney Forms are documents, only legally enforceable in the state of Ohio, that are created between two parties:
- The Principal; an individual who wants to delegate their decision making powers about at least one task or duty to another party and
- The Agent; the party (an individual or entity) who they entrust to duly follow through on any and all obligations related to this legal responsibility.
As noted below, different types of power of attorney (POA) arrangements may be enacted to serve different objectives.
What is an Ohio Power of Attorney?
An Ohio Power of Attorney is a legal contract involving a Principal who wishes to delegate their decision making powers, and an Agent who has agreed to receive and exercise such powers on the Principal’s behalf. In addition to carrying out their respective duties, it is the responsibility of both parties to keep abreast of any changes to POA laws that may impact them. For instance, in 2017, Ohio’s POA laws were updated to reflect technological advancements in recent years. Namely, the law now provides for an Agent to legally access a Principal’s digital assets in exercising their power of attorney duties, so long as general language pertaining to this is stated in the POA form.
- Ohio Power of Attorney Laws – (Title  XIII, “Ohio Uniform Commercial Code”)
- State Definition of Power of Attorney – No state definition given.
- Signing Requirements
- General / Durable Power of Attorney (§ 1337.25) – It is a state law requirement that the Power of Attorney is signed by the Principal (or by another individual at the Principal’s direction in their conscious presence). The signature must be acknowledged before a Notary Public or by another authorized individual. If the Power of Attorney concerns the transfer of personal property or the transaction of business, § 1337.06 requires that the Power of Attorney is signed, acknowledged, and certified as per § 5301.01 of the Revised Code.
- Durable Power of Attorney For Health Care / Advance Directive (§ 1337.12) – The Principal must sign the end of the POA form and state the date of its execution. The signing must be witnessed by at least two (2) eligible individuals and acknowledged by a Notary Public.
Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney – One of the primary POA types, the powers an agent is granted regarding a principal’s finances under a Durable Financial POA will remain in effect in the event of the principal’s incapacitation.
General (Financial) Power of Attorney – Contrasting to a Durable POA, under a General Financial POA, the powers an agent is granted regarding a principal’s finances will not remain in effect in the event of the principal’s incapacitation.
Limited (Special) Power of Attorney – A principal who does not wish to bestow an agent broad and sweeping powers over their affairs should opt for a Limited POA.
Medical (Health Care) Power of Attorney – In Ohio, a Medical POA is referred to as a Durable Power of Attorney For Health Care. The primary area of the principal’s life this type of limited type of POA attends to is end-of-life-care.
Download – Adobe PDF
Minor Child Power of Attorney – A child may be taken care of by an upstanding individual nominated by their parents or guardians in the circumstances agreed upon in this form.
Motor Vehicle (DMV) Power of Attorney – A POA that is specially designed to allow a principal to delegate tasks concerning their motor vehicle to another party.
Download – Adobe PDF
Real Estate (Property) Power of Attorney – A principal filling out this form may select from a number of options that concern the manner in which they want an agent to manage their property on their behalf.
Revocation of Power of Attorney – The act of revoking a POA of any type or nature can be performed by completing all of the required sections in this document.
State Tax Filing Power of Attorney – The Ohio Department of Taxation has issued an official State Tax Filing POA form, referred to as the Declaration of Tax Representation, that allows individuals to notify the Department of their decision to elect an agent who will act on their behalf in order to attend to their tax-related duties.
Download – Adobe PDF
When is it Effective?
In order for a Power of Attorney to be effectively executed, according to § 1337.25 the Principal must sign the document and their signature must be acknowledged before a Notary Public or by another authorized individual. The Principal may direct another individual to sign their name for them, so long as the signing is performed in their conscious presence.
If the Power of Attorney involves the transfer of personal property or the transaction of business, § 1337.06 dictates that the form must be signed, acknowledged, and certified as per § 5301.01 of the Revised Code. This section of the law states that in the case of a deed, mortgage, land contract, or lease, the POA must be signed by the grantor, mortgagor, vendor, or lessor. Whereas, in the case of a memorandum of trust, the POA must be signed by the trustee.
The signing must also be acknowledged by the grantor, mortgagor, vendor, or lessor, or by the trustee, before a judge or clerk of a court of record in this state, or a county auditor, county engineer, notary public, or mayor. The individual who performs the acknowledgement must certify the acknowledgement and subscribe the official’s name to the certificate of the acknowledgement.
State signing requirements also differ for the valid execution of a Minor Child Power of Attorney. According to § 3109.54, the document must be signed by the Principal and the Attorney-in-Fact, and both signatures must be notarized.
A Durable Power of Attorney For Health Care / Advance Directive in the state also has a distinct set of signing requirements. According to § 1337.12, it is a requirement that the Principal to sign the end of the POA form and state the date of its execution. The signing must be acknowledged by a Notary Public and witnessed by at least two (2) eligible individuals.
As per § 1337.12(B), the following individuals are deemed to be illegible to serve as a witness: a) any person who is related to the Principal by blood, marriage, or adoption, b) any person who is designated as the attorney in fact or alternate attorney in fact in the instrument, c) the attending physician of the Principal, and d) the administrator of any nursing home in which the Principal is receiving care are ineligible to be witnesses.
Once an eligible witness is selected, the witnessing process must involve the following steps:
- The Principal signing, or acknowledging the Principal’s signature, at the end of the instrument in the presence of each witness.
- Each witness subscribing the witness’s signature after the signature of the Principal, therein attesting to the witness’s belief that the Principal “appears to be of sound mind and not under or subject to duress, fraud, or undue influence.”