Powers of Attorney are a vital part of any estate plan. When putting together an estate plan, the focus is often placed on structuring the inheritance you are going to leave your heirs. However, a proper estate plan also includes documents to ensure that you will be taken care of if you have difficulty due to aging, illness or injury.

Power of Attorney and Living Will

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Simply put, a Power of Attorney is a legal document where you are authorizing someone to act in your place. The person giving the authority to another is called the “Principal.” The person you name who is receiving the power to act for another is commonly referred to as your "agent" or "attorney-in-fact." Keep in mind that even though they are called your attorney-in-fact, the person named does not need to be a lawyer.  

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What is a Power of Attorney?

Just like every car accident is different, every injury case is unique. This is why your personal injury attorney should be someone that you trust will give your case the individual attention it deserves. At Legacy Law, we conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your case and personal situation to determine the full extent of your harms and losses. We make sure everything is accounted for and no table is left unturned.

We also carefully resolve any healthcare, workers’ compensation or other liens that may have occurred due to your accident. We take care of it all and only want you to focus on the most important thing- your recovery. Life after a car accident or other major personal injury is confusing and overwhelming to say the least. Let us handle the details.

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Why Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney Is Critical

After an accident, the insurance company is not fighting for you, they are doing what is best for themselves. Their main focus is to get you to agree to a small settlement quickly. Right after an accident, it might seem great to get a few hundred or thousand dollars right away to help with any immediate bills. However, this is not the best solution for the long-term. You may experience additional medical expenses and unpaid leave from work down the road. An insurance company doesn’t care that you have multiple medical bills, or you’re experiencing lost wages because you haven’t been able to return to work; but our attorneys care.

With each case we take on, our goal is to focus our undivided attention to each lawsuit, as well as provide the best legal representation to car accident victims. We currently take on crash cases where an individual experienced a life-changing injury, such as a spinal cord or brain injury, paralysis, or loss of a limb, as well as car accidents resulting in broken bones or herniated and bulging discs. We also take on accident cases where a loved one unfortunately died. As a client of ours, we would fight hard for the justice and compensation you deserve during this difficult time.

Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle

● Car accident
● Boat accident
● Motorcycle accident
● Trucking accident
● Slip and Fall
● Dog Bites
● Assault and Battery
● Defamation – Libel and Slander
● Wrongful Death
● Traumatic Brain Injury
● Construction accident

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Car Accidents

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Here in Ohio, we separate Powers of Attorney into two categories. You have a Financial Power of Attorney and a Healthcare Power of Attorney. A Financial Power of Attorney generally deals with actions related to financial transactions, contracts and real estate. Just like it sounds, a Healthcare Power of Attorney deals with medical decisions and living arrangements.
When executing a Power of Attorney, you have the ability to grant a limited Power of Attorney or a General Power of Attorney. This is where you specify if you want your agent to have all the general powers set forth under the Ohio Revised Code, or if you want to place limitations on the authority granted. For example, you may want your agent under a Financial Power of Attorney to be able to write checks for you, but not to deal with your real estate. A properly completed Financial Power of Attorney can accomplish this.

Our Expertise

Asset Protection & Medicaid Planning

Business Formation & Disputes

Car Accidents

Elder Law

Estate Planning

Guardianship & Conservatorship

Personal Injury

Probate, Trusts, & Estate Administration

Trucking Accidents

What can a Power of Attorney Do?

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

When a Power of Attorney is durable it means that it remains in effect in the event of your mental incapacity. In order to complete a Power of Attorney, the principal must have legal capacity. Generally speaking, that means that he or she must have the mental wherewithal to understand what is happening, what he or she is doing, and the legal effect of signing a Power of Attorney. If you, the principal, are declared mentally incompetent in the future, the authority granted under a Power of Attorney may or may not continue to be valid depending on whether or not the Power of Attorney is “durable.”

How can I make sure my Power of Attorney is Accepted?

One of the nuances of a Power of Attorney is that there is no formal requirement for a bank or other entity to honor it. When Ohio adopted the Uniform Power of Attorney Act in 2012 the provision imposing financial penalties for refusing to honor an otherwise valid Power of Attorney was removed. As such, the place you are trying to use the Power of Attorney at can simply state that they do not like the Power of Attorney and refuse to honor it.  

That being said, banks are not there to give you a hard time. They are often concerned about liability on their part in honoring a Power of Attorney. Most commonly, I see problems arise: 

(1) When a Power of Attorney is too vague as to the authority being granted, 
(2) When a Power of Attorney is too old
(3) When a Power of Attorney lacks or contains a minimal waiver of liability provision

In short, you may want to turn in your Power of Attorney to the place(s) you would want to have them used at ahead of time. That way the bank or other entity can review the document and let you know if there are any concerns before the time for use is needed.

What is a Living Will?

A Living Will is a legal document where you specify your wishes in regards to artificial life support. Prior to August 2021, you could also state your wishes as they relate to organ donation. As the law has now changed, those provisions will no longer be honored.

Living Wills in Ohio are only effective if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious. You can specify certain wishes regarding life support, such as no feeding tubes. Most commonly, a Living Will states that life support is not to be administered if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious.  
Keep in mind that this supersedes any authority granted under a Healthcare Power of Attorney. That means that your agents will not have the ability to be involved in decisions related to artificial life support even if you meant for them to.  
A review of these documents by a qualified estate planner can be crucial in ensuring that your wishes are followed, and those persons you wish to act on your behalf will be able to speak for you.


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