OH Senate Bill 117

Law

State: Ohio
Signed: December 21, 2011

Effective: March 22, 2012

Summary

Ohio enacts the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA). If a power of attorney is presented for notarization, a Notary will need to know that a signer may sign the power of attorney or may direct another person to sign it for him or her. The Act doesn’t require a power of attorney to be notarized, but a court will presume the signature to be genuine if it is acknowledged before a Notary or an officer authorized to take acknowledgments.

Affects

Amends Sections 1337.092, 1337.12, 2101.24, 2109.21, 2111.02, 2111.12, 2111.121, 5301.071, 5747.02, 5801.10, 5804.11, 5804.12, 5808.02, 5808.14, 5808.17, 5810.09, and 5810.13; enacts new Section 2107.52 and Sections 1337.21 to 1337.64, 3793.31 to 3793.39, 5808.18, 5808.19, 5809.031, and 5810.14; and repeals Sections 1337.09, 1337.091, 1337.093, 1337.18, 1337.19, 1337.20, and 2107.52 of the Ohio Revised Code

Changes
  1. Requires a power of attorney to be signed by the principal or in the principal’s conscious presence by another individual directed by the principal to sign the principal’s name.
  2. Provides that a power of attorney is presumed to be genuine if the principal acknowledges the signature before a Notary or other officer authorized by law to take acknowledgments and defines the term “acknowledged” to mean “purportedly verified before a notary public or other individual authorized to take acknowledgments.”
  3. Permits a power of attorney to be electronically signed (and, implies that a POA may be electronically notarized).
  4. Exempts from the scope of the Act a power of attorney for health care decisions, a proxy or other delegation to exercise voting rights or management of rights with respect to an entity and a power created on a form prescribed by a government or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality for a governmental purpose.
  5. Provides a statutory power of attorney form and form for an agent to certify to the validity of the power of attorney, both of which contain acknowledgment certificates.
Analysis

Ohio adopts the Uniform Power of Attorney Act published by the Uniform Law Commission. The Act does not require a power of attorney to be acknowledged before a Notary Public, but grants a presumption of genuineness to any power of attorney that is. In line with other states that have adopted the Act, Ohio’s enactment permits a power of attorney to be electronically signed, and by inference, electronically notarized. Notaries should take note that the Act also permits a power of attorney to be signed by another person in the principal’s conscious presence if the person is directed to sign by the principal; it does not mention whether this proxy signer may or may not be the person (agent) granted powers of attorney.

Read the bill text.

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