There are two types of Power of Attorney (POA) in Ohio. Healthcare Power of Attorney, as the name suggests, allows you to name an agent to make healthcare and medical decisions on your behalf if you should ever become incapacitated and unable to make those kinds of decisions for yourself. A healthcare power of attorney is critically important in emergency situations. Without an agent, emergency medical workers can only provide a certain level of care before your inability to instruct them further prevents them from being able to continue to best meet your needs. A designated agent can advise medical professionals on issues like pre-existing conditions, allergies to medications, and personal or religious preferences for or against certain kinds of treatment that might otherwise go unknown.
General Durable Power of Attorney, sometimes referred to as Financial Power of Attorney, provides an agent with the authority to make decisions with regards to your finances and property. An agent with this authority can help you with things like paying bills, receiving and processing income, and selling property. Unlike the Healthcare POA, where your designated agent’s authority only kicks in when medical professionals have determined that you have been incapacitated, the authority of a Financial POA agent is effective upon executing the document unless you specify otherwise.
Both POA documents give you the power to name an agent you trust to assist you with managing your affairs with few entanglements. POA documents can only be executed by the individual seeking to grant that authority, not by someone seeking to acquire it. As such, the individual seeking to grant POA to another must be competent and aware of the decision in order to execute the POA. If an individual is unable to comprehend the situation, the only other option available to assist them with healthcare and financial matters is adult guardianship.
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