Do you or a loved one have questions about estate planning and administration, Medicaid, guardianship or other elder law issues?
Visit the Caregiver Expo Saturday, Nov. 2 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Parkway Place, 2592 Parkway Plaza in Maumee and ask your question of an elder law attorney.
Mark Lindburg from Legal Aid of Western Ohio will be part of a panel discussion at the event that includes questions from the audience.
Following is a list of frequently asked power of attorney questions:
Question: Why do I need a Power of Attorney (POA)?
Answer: A POA is a document that designates a person to make all your business decisions (including your banking) and decisions for your welfare, in the event you become incapacitated. A full power of attorney can avoid the need for a guardianship if you should become incompetent either through Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, coma, etc.
Question: Are there different types of POAs?
Answer: There are three main types of POAs. First, is the business POA wherein the grantor empowers a trusted person to handle his business affairs. Second, is a Springing POA, which is a specific type of business POA. This document empowers someone only after the occurrence of a specific event (such as incapacity of the grantor).
Third, is a Healthcare POA, which empowers someone to make medical decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself. There are medical POAs for general healthcare and one to deal with a grantor with mental health concerns.
Question: When I’m admitted to the hospital/nursing home do I have to have the original POA?
Answer: It depends on what you need done. With medical POAs, copies are as good as originals and can be used to make medical decisions for you. For business POAs you must have the original notarized document for your POA to make financial arrangements for your care.
Question: Do POAs expire?
Answer: It depends on the type of POA and the language used in the document. Most POAs are durable in nature and therefore would not expire unless the grantor dies, the grantor revokes it, or a court revokes it. There are some POAs that, by the language in the document, set certain durations or names an event, which when and if it occurs would terminate the POA.
Question: What if my appointee uses the POA for his own benefit?
Answer: There is a fiduciary duty for the person appointed as power of attorney to act in the grantor’s best interest. This concept is codified in the Ohio Revised Code and if such an event happens, the appointee could be guilty of theft, conversion, fraud, etc.
For clarification of these answers or for additional information about POAs, contact a lawyer.