It is human nature to want to be in control of your life and everything that happens around it. Having a Power of Attorney is one way you can authorize someone else to act on your behalf. Granting one person the power to make decisions regarding your personal matters can be a scary and troubling choice to make. However, due to new state laws the choice is now easier to make.

Durable vs. Springing

The traditional Durable Power of Attorney becomes effective when executed; meaning, at the moment the Power of Attorney is signed the authorized person can make decisions outlined within, ranging from financial matters to healthcare decisions. The execution of a Durable Power of Attorney may lead to the authorized person taking advantage of that role and abusing the power.

On March 22, 2012 the Uniform Power of Attorney Act became effective and with it came what people refer to as a Springing Power of Attorney. A person may provide in their power of attorney a contingency where the power of attorney becomes effective such as on a certain date or the occurrence of a future event. Thus, the power of attorney “springs” into action on the occurrence of that event.

Who makes the determination the contingency or event has occurred?

According to Ohio Rev. Code §1337.29(B), the principal may authorize one or more persons to make this determination. That authorized person would submit in writing or other record that the event has occurred. In the event that there is not an authorized person or the authorized person is unwilling or unable to make the determination then:

  • A determination may be made by a physician or licensed psychologist who has conducted an evaluation; or
  • A determination may be made by an attorney at law, a judge, or an appropriate government official.

The Springing Power of Attorney provides a simple yet safeguarded method to take care of specific matters in case of certain events and allows peace of mind for you and your loved ones.