Power of Attorney in Oklahoma: What You Need to Know
A power of attorney in Oklahoma is a crucial document used to make decisions on your behalf, and there are several types of power of attorney forms available for use under Oklahoma law. A power of attorney is a very powerful document, and it is essential that you understand how it operates and that you trust the person to whom it will grant the power. If you have questions about how to use a power of attorney form, or which power of attorney is right for you after reading this blog post, schedule your free consultation with the estate planning attorneys of Ball Morse Lowe. We are happy to answer your questions and to assist you with choosing the appropriate Oklahoma power of attorney to suit your needs. It is important to note, a power of attorney, and a durable power of attorney are only used during a person's life. Once the signer passes away, the power of attorney can no longer be used.
General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney gives a person, referred to as your agent or attorney-in-fact, the ability to make general decisions on your behalf. One example of when a general power of attorney form may be used is when you are traveling out of the country. You could also use it to give someone the ability to make business decisions on your behalf.
A general power of attorney is only valid while you are considered competent. If you would like your agent to continue to make decisions for you if you are considered incapacitated by a medical professional, you need a durable power of attorney. Only a durable power of attorney continues to remain in effect after you are incapacitated.
Although there is no need to have a general power of attorney form witnessed or signed in the presence of a notary public, doing so can be helpful.
Medical Power of Attorney
The most used Oklahoma power of attorney is the medical power of attorney. It is also known as a health care power of attorney. It enables you to appoint someone, referred to as an agent or attorney-in-fact, to make medical decisions on your behalf. However, there are limitations to the medical power of attorney. For example, even if it is a Oklahoma durable medical power of attorney, it cannot be used to make end-of-life decisions on your behalf. It also cannot be used if you are considered incapacitated by a medical professional unless it is a durable power of attorney.
Much like a general power of attorney, there is no requirement to have this power of attorney form witnessed or signed in front of a notary public. However, doing so could be beneficial in the future if questions arise about the validity of your signature.
Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney is used to permit another person, referred to as an agent or attorney-in-fact, to make financial decisions on your behalf as well as handle your financial affairs. This includes paying your bills, accessing your checking and savings accounts, opening and closing financial accounts on your behalf, using your bank accounts, using your credit cards, creating credit lines and loans on your behalf, investing on your behalf, and more.
A financial power of attorney can be helpful in many circumstances, but you must trust the individual that you name in it. You may also wish to make it a limited power of attorney. A limited power of attorney places limits on what the agent may do on your behalf or it may expire when a certain event occurs. For example, if you are traveling outside of the United States for a specific time, you need someone to handle your financial affairs while you are out of the country. The limit for the document would be when you return to the US. With a limited financial power of attorney, the language would read that the document would terminate when you return to the country. This would prevent the need for you to revoke the document.
Much like the other power of attorney forms, there is no need to sign the document in the presence of witnesses or a notary public although doing so can be beneficial, especially since this power of attorney deals with your financial affairs.
Oklahoma Durable Power of Attorney
An Oklahoma durable power of attorney is a power of attorney form that continues to provide your agent with the authority to act on your behalf if you are declared incapacitated. An Oklahoma durable power of attorney can be a financial power of attorney, a general power of attorney, or medical power of attorney.
A durable power of attorney does not need to be signed in the presence of a notary public and it does not need to be signed by witnesses. However, because this power of attorney form continues to be relied upon if you are declared incapacitated, signing it in the presence of a notary public could be helpful to verify the legitimacy of the document in the future.
Other Helpful Oklahoma Power of Attorney Forms
There are other helpful Oklahoma power of attorney forms that may be beneficial for you. The two most popular include the real estate power of attorney and the tax power of attorney. A real estate power of attorney is used to give another person the authority to make decisions related to real estate on your behalf. Buying and selling real estate can have potential legal and tax implications. Before entering into a real estate power of attorney, you should seek legal advice specific to your needs. This will help you better understand how a real estate power of attorney will affect you.
A tax power of attorney is generally used if you're working with a tax professional such as a CPA or Enrolled Agent. With it, your tax professional is given your permission to speak with or work with the IRS or state-level tax agency on your behalf, including answering any questions about your taxes the tax agency may have.
Free Consultation: Power of Attorney in Oklahoma
Because the power of attorney in Oklahoma allows another person to act on your behalf, it is essential that you choose the proper one and that it includes the proper language that you need without any unintended consequences. Ball Morse Lowe is here to help you make the proper decision regarding the power of attorney forms that best meet the needs of your life. Schedule your free consultation now to learn more.