The Ritter & Randolph, LLC Blog

Health Care Power of Attorney Changes

Justin T. Precht, Esq.In 2014, the 130th Ohio General Assembly passed Sub. H.B. 126. The act amends Ohio law governing the Health Care Power of Attorney document. There are two notable changes:
 
Sub. H.B. 126 provides that the agent may access the principal’s health information, including protected health information, immediately. The ability to access health information must be expressly authorized in the instrument for this authority to be effective. Previously, an agent became vested with that authority only after a physician diagnosis that the principal had lost capacity. 
 
The act also allows the principal to nominate in the Health Care Power of Attorney document a guardian, whether of the person, estate or both, for the court to consider should guardianship proceedings begin. Prior to Sub H.B. 126, there was no such ability.
 
The Ohio State Bar Association has recently revised its Advance Directive Forms to comply with the amendments. We at Ritter and Randolph, LLC have also adopted the revisions to our health care documents.