Westerville Power of Attorney Lawyer

Protecting Your Legacy Using a Power of Attorney

Estate planning is a comprehensive process that helps you secure your financial future, protect your assets, and ensure your final wishes are honored. Among all the estate planning tools available, the power of attorney document stands out, ensuring your well-being and peace of mind. When it comes to making crucial decisions about your future, finances, and healthcare, our Westerville power of attorney lawyer can provide legal guidance as you navigate the complexities of creating a power of attorney document. 

Quick Summary:

  • Estate planning is a comprehensive process that secures your financial future, protects assets, and ensures final wishes are honored.
  • A Power of Attorney (POA) is a crucial tool within estate planning, granting an agent authority to make decisions on behalf of the principal.
  • Various types of POAs in Ohio include Financial, Healthcare, Durable, General, Limited, and Springing POAs.
  • Legal requirements for a valid POA in Ohio include mental capacity and, optionally, notarization.
  • Steps for establishing a POA include creating the document, signing it before a notary, storing the original safely, and sharing copies with relevant parties.

At the Law Office of David Bale, we are committed to helping you create a well-rounded estate plan that will grant you peace of mind and security in uncertain times. Take control of your destiny and safeguard your interests. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation with our Ohio estate planning attorneys and let us help you take the necessary steps to safeguard your future and your legacy.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants an individual, known as an agent or attorney-in-fact, the authority to make decisions and take specific actions on behalf of another person, known as the principal. This document is a crucial part of estate planning and provides a legal framework for delegating responsibilities when the principal is unable to do so themselves, whether due to illness, disability, absence, or other circumstances.

Creating a POA is a proactive step in ensuring that your interests are protected and your affairs are managed according to your wishes when you cannot do so yourself. It’s crucial to carefully consider your choice of agent or attorney-in-fact, as they will be entrusted with significant responsibilities. Consulting with our Westerville estate planning attorney is advisable to ensure that the power of attorney document aligns with your specific needs and adheres to Ohio laws and regulations.

What are the Types of Power of Attorney?

There are several types of POAs, each designed to serve specific needs and circumstances. Understanding the different types of POAs can help you make informed decisions about your estate planning and healthcare preferences. Here are the primary types of power of attorney documents in Ohio:

Financial Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney is placed to authorize someone else to manage the finances on behalf of the designated individual. It provides a practical way to ensure the seamless continuity of your financial affairs, protect your assets, and maintain financial stability during challenging times.

In a financial POA, the agent or attorney-in-fact focuses on managing financial matters such as:

  • check writing
  • banking transactions
  • managing investments, stocks, and insurance policies
  • accessing safety deposit boxes
  • making tax-related decisions
  • accounting responsibilities
  • managing government benefits

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A healthcare power of attorney allows the principal to designate an agent to make medical decisions on their behalf when they are unable to do so. It can cover a wide range of medical decisions, from choosing healthcare providers to consenting to or refusing specific treatments. This also includes decisions regarding medical treatments, procedures, surgeries, and end-of-life care.  

Your healthcare agent is legally obligated to make medical decisions that align with your wishes, values, and best interests. They are expected to work closely with your healthcare providers and ensure that your preferences are honored. 

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable POA remains in effect even if the principal becomes mentally incapacitated or unable to make decisions. It is a valuable estate planning tool for individuals who want to ensure that their affairs are managed by a trusted agent, especially in the event of cognitive decline or disability.

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney (GPOA) grants broad authority to an agent to handle financial, legal, and business matters on behalf of the principal. This type of POA is often used for managing day-to-day financial affairs, especially when the principal may be unavailable for an extended period.

Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney, also known as a special power of attorney, is narrowly tailored to specific tasks or situations. It grants the agent the authority to act on behalf of the principal for a particular transaction or a designated period, such as selling real estate or managing a business interest.

Springing Power of Attorney

This type of POA becomes effective only when a specific triggering event occurs, typically the incapacity of the principal, as determined by a healthcare professional. It offers an additional layer of protection for the principal’s interests.

What Are the Legal Requirements of a Power of Attorney in Ohio?

Creating a power of attorney involves adhering to specific legal requirements to ensure the document’s validity and enforceability. Understanding these legal requirements is essential when drafting a POA to avoid potential issues in the future. Here are the key legal requirements for a power of attorney in Ohio:

Mental Capacity

The principal (the person granting authority in the POA) must be of sound mind and legal age to create a valid POA. They should understand the nature, scope, extent, and implications of the document they are signing.


While notarization is not always required for a valid POA in Ohio, having the document notarized can enhance its credibility and acceptance by third parties, such as banks and financial institutions.

What are the Steps for Establishing a Power of Attorney in Ohio?

Creating a POA involves several important steps to ensure that the document is legally valid and serves your specific needs. Remember that the laws regarding power of attorney may change over time, so it’s essential to stay informed about the latest legal requirements and updates in Ohio. Working with our Westerville estate planning lawyer ensures that your POA complies with current regulations and serves your best interests.

Here’s an overview of the steps for making a power of attorney in Ohio:

1. Create the POA Using a Statutory Form or With the Help of an Attorney

To establish a POA, Ohio provides a statutory form created by the state legislature with blanks to fill in. However, it is highly advisable to work with our Westerville OH estate planning lawyer to create a POA for you to ensure compliance with Ohio’s laws and help you draft a document that meets your specific needs.

2. Sign the POA in the Presence of a Notary Public

You must review the drafted POA document carefully. When you are satisfied that it accurately reflects your intentions, sign the document in the presence of two disinterested witnesses or have it acknowledged before a notary public.

3. Store the Original POA in a Safe Place

Once you have completed the power of attorney document, store the original in a safe place that your loved ones can easily access, and let them know where to find it. If you become incapacitated, your attorney-in-fact might need the original POA to act on your behalf.

4. Give a Copy to Relevant Parties

You should also give a copy of the power of attorney to your agent so that your agent is familiar with the contents of the document. You may also share copies of the signed POA document with any institution or individuals who may need to recognize the POA, such as banks, healthcare providers, or financial institutions.

Why Do I Need a Power of Attorney Lawyer in Ohio?

Life is unpredictable, and unforeseen circumstances can render you temporarily or permanently incapacitated. A power of attorney ensures the continuity of your financial and healthcare decisions by allowing a trusted agent to step in and act on your behalf promptly. 

Hiring an estate planning attorney requires research, understanding, and sometimes some luck to find the right fit. We strongly encourage that the selection process includes a preliminary telephone interview with the prospective firm or attorney.

During that interview, we suggest asking questions that help you understand their process and their services. 

While it may be tempting to use generic forms or templates found online, there are compelling reasons why working with our Westerville estate planning attorneys at the Law Office of David Bale is crucial when creating a POA. Below are five questions that we think get you the information you need in making your decision.

(1) How much do you focus your practice on Estate Planning matters?

This is an important and often unasked question. The answer to this question may give insight into how experienced the attorney is in estate planning matters. Arguably the best indicator of experience in a practice area is to regularly practice in that area of law. This question gives you a gauge for how often the attorney deals with estate planning. It also gives you a preliminary answer into how well the attorney can deal with more complex issues of estate planning.

The goal of this question is to determine whether it sounds like the practitioner works in estate planning regularly. Having that information is crucial to process because you want someone who will understand your goals and be able to come up with a plan to achieve them.

(2) What experience do you have with situations similar to mine?

No one situation is the exact same and it is important to understand your unique goals and objectives. Not all planning issues are “typical.” Often, there are differences between plans based on personal information and life situations. My goal is to be able to tell you that I have experience handling situations similar to yours or to see that you get to someone who can. In this way, I anticipate that we are serving you either way, either by doing the work or by referring the work to someone well-versed in an area that can better assist you. 

You don’t want to waste time needlessly searching for answers, and we don’t want you to have to do that either. Since I have extensive experience with many different types of estate planning issues, I also know who else is working in these areas and I can help shorten your search.

Additionally, some potential clients call in and say, this is what I want to be done. That’s great

(3) How much would estate planning cost?

Cost is an important factor; however, it is not always the cost of doing the work that is most important, so long as costs for estate planning seem reasonable for the work performed. Also, the actual cost of estate planning varies based on what options or choices you make, and these choices cannot be made without first exploring and understanding your options. I seldom talk with clients who are already completely informed on their options and needs in estate planning goals when they call.

My firm generally provides an idea about costs in advance, but I cannot provide complete information about the type of plan before meeting with the client. Unfortunately, a 10-minute telephone call isn’t enough time to provide a definitive answer. But that is also why I offer a free consultation for estate planning clients before entering into a contract, so I better understand the client’s needs before there is an agreement for service.

One final note regarding costs: always remember that most of the time the cost of not doing the work or doing inappropriate work is more expensive than the initial costs of appropriate estate planning.

(4) What services are provided?

This is the flip side of the cost question above. You have to know what is included in the service. This, again, requires that you know your options. However, if someone provides a price for a ‘simple will’, and stops there, you can be pretty sure this is not their specific area of practice. They are not evaluating your needs, and as such, they are not helping you plan your estate even though they may produce a Will.

An important part of the estate planning process is your conversation with your lawyer. The documents are important too, but these documents do not in themselves constitute your estate plan; much of your plan is based on how you hold property and how you direct the transfer of property inside and outside of estate planning documents. Sometimes the most important part of your plan is not financial, but based on your relationships and responsibility for others.

(5) What can we expect in the future?

My goal is to build a relationship with you through life. I don’t just focus on your current estate planning needs; I also pay attention to your future needs. Goals change as life changes and I want to help with those changes.

I strongly recommend you “audit” your estate planning documents every 2 years, in the absence of special circumstances, or even more often if there are special events or life-changing experiences occur.

Every 3-5 years, you should sit down with an attorney and review your documents and your goals. I am implementing a process to help facilitate this review by sending letters and reaching out to remind clients of these targets.

Some firms may view estate planning as transactional deals, as a one-time thing – if you’re interested in updating it, give me a call. While that approach isn’t irresponsible or bad, my experience is that this type of work is often outdated when it is used unless it is disciplined by the counsel’s active participation.

Call Our Westerville Estate Planning Attorneys Now!

Are you worried about safeguarding your financial interests and healthcare decisions in Ohio? Creating a well-structured power of attorney is the key to ensuring that your future is in capable hands, even during challenging circumstances. Whether it’s managing your finances, preserving your assets, or ensuring your medical care preferences are respected, the power of attorney is an essential component of responsible planning. 

At the Law Office of David Bale, our Westerville OH estate planning attorneys offer a comprehensive range of estate planning services tailored to your unique needs, including wills, trusts, power of attorney, and more. We can help you draft POAs that are clear, specific, and unambiguous, reducing the risk of misuse or misinterpretation. We oversee the proper execution of the document, ensuring it adheres to specific legal formalities, including witnessing and notarization, making it legally valid and reducing the risk of future challenges. 

Our estate planning law firm can provide you with peace of mind knowing that your agent will act in your best interests and that your wishes will be respected. We also have extensive experience in business law, probate, and trust litigation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and let us help you navigate the path to a secure and well-planned future for you and your loved ones.


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