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Ohio’s Financial Power of Attorney Toolkit

This toolkit explains how to create your own Financial Power of Attorney (FPOA) and answers questions about how it works and what to do with it after you sign it.  Before you create your FPOA, read the Articles for FPOA general information.  Read the Common Questions for answers to specific questions.  Then, to create your own FPOA, use the Forms link to prepare your form.  See the first three pages of your FPOA Form for a Checklist of things to do to finalize the form.

If you still have questions about your FPOA, call Pro Seniors Legal Helpline for Ohioans age 60 and over at 513.345.4160 or 1.800.488.6070.  There you can schedule a free 30 minute phone consultation with a Helpline attorney to answer you questions.

Forms

All form links can be found in the under the Forms heading on the sidebar of this page.  Forms under the Financial Power of Attorney toolkit include:

  • Do-It-Yourself: Financial Power of Attorney Form
  • Do-It-Yourself: Financial Power of Attorney Revocation Form
  • Power of Attorney Certification Letter

Articles

Helpful articles can be found on the sidebar, located on the right side of the page.  Articles include Pro Senior’s pamphlets as well as other published documents that can help you to understand the financial power of attorney form more fully.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Financial Power of Attorney?

A financial power of attorney (FPOA) is a written document by which a competent adult, known as the principal, appoints and authorizes another competent adult, known as the attorney-in-fact (A-I-F), to act on the principal’s behalf.  Financial powers of attorney usually cover financial, business, personal and real estate matters.

A healthcare power of attorney is different, because a healthcare power of attorney will allow the attorney-in-fact to make treatment decisions for you when you are unable to make those decisions yourself.

What is a Durable Financial Power of Attorney (DFPOA)?

A durable financial power of attorney (DFPOA) authorizes the attorney-in-fact to act on behalf of you, the principal, even after you become incapacitated or incompetent.  FPOAs are durable by default, unless they specifically provide that they terminate by principal’s incapacity.  Non-durable FPOAs are rare because they terminate when the principal becomes incapacitated or incompetent.

What is Ohio's Statutory Power of Attorney?

The Ohio Revised Code includes a blank form that can be used to create a DFPOA on your own, without acquiring legal counsel.  However, the document must be signed and notarized if it authorizes the transfer of real estate.  The form included in this toolkit  and instructions regarding the form can be found by completed the statutory financial power of attorney interview.

Can a DFPOA be Terminated?

Yes.  A DFPOA can be ended if you state in writing that you are revoking it, if the DFPOA itself states that it ends at a certain time or event, or if you die.  A DFPOA is not affected by your incapacity or incompetence nor by the passing of time.  An A-I-F may continue to act past the revocation or your death until the A-I-F has actual knowledge of your death or the revocation.

A springing DFPOA which becomes effective when you become incapacitated, terminates when you die or when your incapacity ends.  If another event or a particular date springs into effect a springing DFPOA while you are still competent, it can be terminated by your written revocation or by your death.  The revocation should be signed, dated, and notarized.

A recorded DFPOA, which gives the A-I-F the power to buy and sell registered land, cannot be revoked unless the revocation or death of the principal is recorded in the same office where the DFPOA was originally recorded.  In addition, to be effective, any revocation of a DFPOA must be given to the original A-I-F.  The A-I-F must also be notified of the pricipal’s death because any act the A-I-F does in good faith, without knowledge of the pricipal’s death or revocation of the DFPOA, is valid and enforceable against the heirs and personal representatives of the deceased principal.

Can my FPOA Agent Resign?

Yes.  Unless the power of attorney provides a different method for an agent’s resignation, an agent may resign by giving notice to the principal and, if the principal is incapacitated, to whichever of the following applies:

  1. The guardian, if one has been appointed for the principal, and any co-agent or successor agent;
  2. If there is no person described in (1) above, to any of the following:
    • The principal’s caregiver;
    • Another person reasonably believed by the agent to have sufficient interest in the principal’s welfare;
    • A governmental agency having authority to protect the welfare of the principal.

See RC § 1337.38.

What FPOA Default Provisions are Changeable with Special Instructions?

Although any FPOA default provision can be changed with Special Instructions, there are several choices built into the Ohio Statutory do-it-yourself form interview that may result in Special Instructions:

  1. If during the do-it-yourself FPOA interview you choose that your agent should not be compensated for performing his/her duties as your agent, then that choice appears as a Special Instruction because such compensation is built into the form unless you state otherwise.
  2. Similarly, by default your FPOA becomes effective immediately upon signing. But you can change that by choosing that it shall not become effective until you become incapacitated and that choice will appear as a Special Instruction.
  3. Although the form FPOA does not have a place to name a co-agent, that provision can also be added as a Special Instruction.
  4. The Special Instructions above will be automatically created when you choose that option in the do-it-yourself FPOA interview. However, you also have the opportunity to type your own Special Instruction during the do-it-yourself FPOA interview if you wish.  For example, your agent’s authority will continue until you die unless you specify a shorter period of time in the Special Instructions.

What is the "Agent's Certificaiton as to the Validity of Power of Attorney and Agent's Authority Form" Used For?

The Agent’s Certification As To The Validity Of Power Of Attorney And Agent’s Authority Form is a statutory optional form that may be used by an agent to certify facts concerning a power of attorney.  The agent may be asked to certify facts concerning a power of attorney by a person or business that the agent is doing business with as proof that his agency is valid.

See RC § 1337.61.

Why was the Qualified Income Trust Special Instruciton Added to the FPOA Form?

Over half of Ohio nursing facility residents are on Medicaid.  The main reason for this is that the average cost for long-term care in the United States in 2016 was $225 per day or over $80,000 per year for a semi-private room in a nursing home.  Because of this high cost, even people with moderate savings run out of money if they are in a nursing home for a year or longer.

Once their savings run out, nursing home residents turn to the Medicaid program to help pay their bill.  But if their income exceeds 300% of the federal benefit rate (FBR), the maximum federal monthly SSI payment, $750 per month for an individual in 2018, they are not income eligible for Medicaid unless and until they create a Qualified Income Trust (QIT).  However, the Ohio FPOA form specifically withholds authority from the agent to create a trust.

Therefore, the only way to allow your agent to create a QIT is to authorize it in the Special Instructions.  Pro Seniors has added that authorization as the first Special Instruction.  Initialing this Special Instruction provision before you sign the FPOA, will allow your agent to create a Qualified Income Trust if necessary to qualify you for the Medicaid program.

Why has Pro Seniors Added Special Instructions to the Form for Me to Consider

Pro Seniors has been using this FPOA form for our clients since Ohio first created it in 2012.  During that time, we found that several provisions not included in the form were especially helpful for our senior clients.  We added these three provisions as Special Instructions to your FPOA form which you can choose to accept or reject.  To accept Special Instructions one through three, you must initial each provision at the end where this appears:  (__________).  To reject any Special Instruction provision, simply do not initial it at the end.  If a Special Instruction provision is not initialed, it has no effect whatsoever.

What is the "SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS" Section?

The “Special Instructions” section of Ohio’s Statutory Financial Power of Attorney (FPOA) is an optional section where you can add additional instructions for your agent.  Such instructions can be divided into two types:

  • Additional instructions not included in the default Statutory FPOA, such as the anti-arbitration clause below, or
  • Instructions that change the Statutory FPOA default provisions, such as an instruction not allowing your agent to be compensated for performing his/her duties.

Any Special Instructions included must be initialed by you, the principal, prior to signing the FPOA, in order for such instructions to be binding on your agent.

What is the "Agent's Certificaiton as to the Validity of Power of Attorney and Agent's Authority Form" Used For?

The Agent’s Certification As To The Validity Of Power Of Attorney And Agent’s Authority Form is a statutory optional form that may be used by an agent to certify facts concerning a power of attorney.  The agent may be asked to certify facts concerning a power of attorney by a person or business that the agent is doing business with as proof that his agency is valid.

See RC § 1337.61.

What FPOA Default Provisions are Changeable with Special Instructions?

Although any FPOA default provision can be changed with Special Instructions, there are several choices built into the Ohio Statutory do-it-yourself form interview that may result in Special Instructions:

  1. If during the do-it-yourself FPOA interview you choose that your agent should not be compensated for performing his/her duties as your agent, then that choice appears as a Special Instruction because such compensation is built into the form unless you state otherwise.
  2. Similarly, by default your FPOA becomes effective immediately upon signing. But you can change that by choosing that it shall not become effective until you become incapacitated and that choice will appear as a Special Instruction.
  3. Although the form FPOA does not have a place to name a co-agent, that provision can also be added as a Special Instruction.
  4. The Special Instructions above will be automatically created when you choose that option in the do-it-yourself FPOA interview. However, you also have the opportunity to type your own Special Instruction during the do-it-yourself FPOA interview if you wish.  For example, your agent’s authority will continue until you die unless you specify a shorter period of time in the Special Instructions.
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