Ohio

How to control your business from afar? A strong PoA is an answer

How do you handle financial matters when you can’t be there to sign the documents? Since you can’t be in two places at the same time, and most large financial decisions cannot be made via digital signature, you’ll need to appoint a trusted person — a friend, a business partner, or a lawyer to sign the document for you. 

Of course, forgery is not an option, so you need to create a power of attorney. If you think you’ll be away and you need to sign an important document, browse Ohio power of attorney forms, get yourself a template to fill in, and create a PoA. Follow through with this short read to find out what you have to do to create a valid PoA form.

What is power of attorney?

Power of attorney doesn’t have anything to do with your attorney-at-law, your lawyer. Same as your attorney-at-law represents you in the legal system, your attorney-in-fact represents you in all other matters. By creating and signing a power of attorney document, you’re giving the rights of attorney-in-fact, or agent, to a chosen person.

How to control your business from afar? 

 However, you don’t have to give all rights to your agent. In fact, you can limit the scope of what they can do as much as you want.

Limited vs general PoA

General PoA gives all agent rights to a certain person. They can make medical decisions for you if you’re incapacitated, buy and sell property, and generally do everything that requires a signature. That’s a very handy thing to have for incapacitated patients, but most healthy people don’t need that.

 This is why in the case where you only want to sell your car when you’re abroad, a limited power of attorney would do. In a limited PoA form, you can specify what actions your agent can perform and even give them legally binding instructions that they will be following. You can also limit the PoA in time so that it ends when you are back and are able to operate a business.

Springing PoA

Normally, the power of attorney is active during the time specified in the form itself. However, you can create a document that would become active upon a certain condition. This is especially important for people who have a health condition that can suddenly leave them incapacitated for an extended period of time.

 For instance, if you have a heart disease that can put you in a hospital with a heart attack for a couple of weeks, it may be wise to create a springing PoA that would only come into effect if you’re on the hospital bed and cannot attend to business matters.

Do you need power of attorney?

As you can see, PoA has a range of uses that can be extremely crucial in specific situations. Do you personally need to have one? Here are the top three situations where you may need it.

Large sales

Let’s imagine you’re on a holiday, and you need to urgently sell something. If the matter at hand is trivial like somebody at last responded to your Craigslist ad about PS4 and they want to buy now and not a minute later, your wife or friends who take care of your cat can definitely finish this transaction for you. It doesn’t require a signature or transferring title — you’re just trading a small possession.

 However, if the matter at hand involves a large sum of money like selling your car, boat, or even a house, resolving this without a signature from the owner isn’t an option. If that’s the case, you most definitely need to create a PoA form to make sure everything goes down smoothly.

Running a business

Attending to business matters is also a major reason to create a PoA. While most trivial matters can be handled by your subordinates, some can’t. For instance, if you need to take out a business loan, sign an important contract, sell or buy large business assets, or sign court papers, you absolutely need a PoA.

 If you know something like this is coming up and you won’t be there to attend, you may consider creating a power of attorney agreement. Even if you don’t, it may be wise to create one just in case there’s an urgent need and you don’t want to waste your vacation.

Illness

Another reason is having an illness that can put you on a hospital bed without much notice. In this case, you’d want to create a springing PoA to let your business associate manage the financial side of your mattes. You also want to create a medical PoA to leave no doubt who’s in charge of your healthcare when you cannot make decisions.

How to create an effective PoA

Indicate the agent

The first thing on your list is indicating who’s going to be your agent or attorney-in-fact. Pick only the most trusted people for this role as you’re essentially giving them power over your finances. When you add them to the document, make sure to list their full legal name, legal mailing address, and contact information.

Indicate compensation

The next thing on the list is listing the agent’s compensation. If you’re delegating these powers to your spouse or business partner, you may state that the agent is doing this for free. However, if you’re signing a PoA with a brokerage firm or another business entity, they require compensation for their services.

Determine their powers

Next up, you need to determine the scope of their powers. If you’re creating the agreement for a specific purpose like selling a car, you should indicate that this is the only thing your agent is eligible to sign on. However, you need to make sure that you cover all the possible signatures including ones at the bank that are required for this transaction.

Sign the PoA

Once all of that is done, you’re welcome to sign the form. Your agent doesn’t need to co-sign it, but you may want to create a contract with them first, especially if you’re providing compensation. Ohio also requires two witnesses to co-sign with you.

Notarize

As per Ohio law, PoA forms are not legally binding until notarized. Sign the form in front of your notary public, and once they put their signature on it, it comes into power. Alternatively, it may come into power at a specified date.

File with authorities

After all these procedures, ask your notary public whether you need to file the PoA agreement with any authorities. This may be necessary for certain operations and not necessary for others, so make sure to inquire about this.

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