Frequently Asked Questions About Original, Ohio Legal Documents
When we draft documents for our clients, like wills and powers of attorney, our clients often ask us a few questions about the original copies. Here are some of the questions we hear most frequently, along with our answers.
What is an “original” legal document?
An “original” is the formal, final, and signed copy of your legal document. We sometimes refer to this copy as the “wet ink copy” or the “blue ink copy,” because it will contain the original ink of your signature and the signatures of any other parties.
Do I need to file the document in court?
Most of the documents we will prepare for clients — wills, powers of attorney, living wills — do not need to be filed in any court or with any office. In the matter of a divorce or dissolution of marriage, however, you will need to file several documents with the court overseeing the proceedings. Your attorney will walk you through this to make sure you file all necessary documents.
Where should I keep original legal documents?
Original documents, like your will or trust documents, should be kept in a safe, secure place. Many people choose to keep these in a safe, in a deposit box, or to keep them in the care of their attorneys. You will also want to retain copies of the original documents in a safe place for your own records. A home file system is a good place for these copies. Be sure to tell someone you trust, like your personal representative or executor, where the originals are located and/or how to access them when needed.
Do medical providers need an original copy?
Your medical providers will need to see a copy of any DNR documents, power of attorney, or health care directives, but they do not need original documents for their own files. You can provide them a copy of the original and maintain the original in a secure place.
Should I give copies to anyone else?
It is always a wise idea to give copies of your important legal documents to the people you want to help you with or benefit from your decisions, especially those decisions that direct end-of-life plans or health care. You want to make sure you give these to people you trust and to make sure that you are only giving people copies, not originals. Your attorney should have a copy (or the original document, depending on your preference), and you should give a copy to your executor or personal representative. If you keep your originals in a safe place, they are not likely to be lost, but it is always best to have a backup.
Call Dawes Legal, LLC for Your Free Legal Consultation
For more information about original legal document management or for a consult regarding your legal needs, contact Dawes Legal, LLC, at (614) 733-9999 today. Our law firm can help you with wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives, and more to protect your rights and assets.
Dawes Legal, LLC
169 E Livingston Ave
Columbus, OH 43215
Telephone (614) 733-9999