Did you know that not all powers of attorney (POAs) are created equal? Just having a POA does not necessarily mean that your Agent is able to do what you need him to do. The document itself must expressly give the Agent the authority to do the task – so, the devil is in the details. Brief “one pagers” may seem convenient, but they often fall short when needed.

Just as important as making sure your POA document expressly gives your Agent the authority to complete a task you want your Agent to do, is making sure your POA doesn’t give your Agent the authority to complete a task you don’t want your Agent to do. These are not “one size fits all,” so be sure you understand how your POA actually works.

There is nothing in Ohio law that requires a POA to be accepted. For instance, banks can choose whether they accept your POA – even if the POA document gives your Agent the express power to act. Each bank can set its own rules regarding the use of POAs (and they all do it differently). Often, the rules center on how old the document is. The older the document, the more likely the bank will reject it.

When was the last time you reviewed your POA to make sure it works the way you want – and that it’s not too old? Please let us know if you’d like us to help you evaluate (or update) your POA.