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Estate Planning Solution of the Week: Health Care Proxy

Estate Planning Solution of the Week:  Health Care Proxy

What is a Health Care proxy?  How does that differ from a health care agent?  And what is the distinction between a health care proxy and a medical power of attorney?

The quickest answer is that all three terms are used to refer to someone who has the legal ability to make health care decisions on behalf of another.  However, the law varies by state as to what such a health care agent is called, what legal documents are needed, and what power is granted to that agent.

In Ohio, the term is “attorney-in-fact.”  In order to have someone make medical decisions on your behalf, you would name this person in a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.  Ohio does not have a standardized form to establish a power of attorney for health care.  However, there are specific requirements for a valid Ohio Health Care Power of Attorney:

  1. Your designation of an agent*
  2. Your designation of how your agent may act on your behalf
  3. Your signature and date
  4. Signature and date of two witnesses*

*Specific regulations exist as to who you may designate as your agent and who can serve as witnesses.  An attorney from Baron Law can give you the current specific requirements for the state of Ohio.

While Ohio does not have a standardized form that is required, the Ohio State Bar Association has developed forms together with several medical associations.  LeadingAge Ohio has a copy of this form available on their website:”  You may also request a hard copy of the form on their website.

Baron Law is a firm that serves the northeast Ohio area.  For more information, or to begin estate planning for yourself or your loved ones, please contact us at 216.573.3723 or  State laws are specific and subject to change.  Schedule your consultation with a lawyer today to ensure that you and your loved ones are protected.