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What is an Oklahoma Power of Attorney?

An Oklahoma power of attorney is a legal document that acts as the authorization for an individual, known as an agent or attorney-in-fact, to make financial decisions, healthcare decisions, real estate decisions, or estate decisions on behalf of the person granting this authority. An Oklahoma POA is most often an estate planning tool, but there are many other instances when it is also useful.

OK POA Laws:

In Oklahoma, a power of attorney document must comply with the Oklahoma Durable Power of Attorney Act. It specifically outlines the parameters of a legally enforceable power of attorney and ensures that the form, as well as its duties, are protected under the law. Here are some of the state’s power of attorney requirements:

  • The document must be signed by the principal.
  • The principal must be at least 18 years old and be of sound mind and understand what they are signing.
  • Two witnesses must also sign the form in the presence of the principal.
  • The principal must sign the POA in front of a notary public
  • The form used must be the same or substantially similar to the form provided by the state

The principal has the right to state which powers the agent may and may not exercise on their behalf. The principal also has the right to revoke the power of attorney, even if it is durable, as long as they are not incompetent.

A power of attorney is also terminated when:

  • The principal dies.
  • The principal is incapacitated and the POA is not durable.
  • The expiration date within the power of attorney has passed.
  • The purpose of the POA is fulfilled.

Why Would You Use an Oklahoma Power of Attorney Form?

There are many reasons why someone would use an Oklahoma power of attorney form to give someone the authority to make decisions related to their personal property, financial institution transactions, tax matters, or their well-being. A few of those include:

  • Age, mental health reasons, and illnesses. They may want their affairs handled in specific ways. It is generally advised that everyone, including those who are terminally ill and those in perfect health, establish the right power of attorney in place to have their matters appropriately handled as well as their wishes fulfilled.
  • A person with a mental illness may need a different power of attorney than a person with a terminal illness.
  • A person with dependent children may need a different power of attorney than someone without dependent children.

Each person’s power of attorney needs may vary. Thankfully, there are several types of POAs available. Before you decide to use one, you should seek legal advice. Ask about the best POA to suit your needs and how to revoke a POA if it becomes necessary. Here are the most common POAs in Oklahoma.

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney grants an agent the power to act on the principal's behalf.

  • Without special instructions, this could be very broad. It's always best to explain what the agent may and may not do. This POA is terminated if the principal becomes incapacitated, dies, or if the principal revokes the document.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable or statutory power of attorney is an "extended version" of a general power of attorney because it goes beyond the parameters of a general power of attorney.

Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney is also known as a special power of attorney. 

  • It grants limited power to whatever the principal specifies. In many cases, an agent will make decisions about medical care, but will not have the authority to do other things such as sell property (depending on what the principal decides). Just like a special power of attorney, the document terminates if the principal becomes incapacitated or dies, if it is revoked by the principal, or if the POA’s purpose is fulled or its expiration date passes. .

Medical Power of Attorney

A medical power of attorney grants power to the agent to make important healthcare decisions on the principal's behalf.

  • If it is durable, the agent can continue to make decisions if the principal becomes incapacitated or becomes mentally incompetent. However, this type of POA cannot be used to make end-of-life decisions. An advance directive for health care is used for that purpose. The State of Oklahoma provides a free PDF for anyone who needs an advance directive for healthcare.

Minor Child Power of Attorney

A minor child power of attorney allows a parent or guardian to grant decision-making rights over their child to a temporary guardian in the case that the parent may not be present during a medical emergency.

  • This form is generally used if the parent must leave the country for a period of time. It may also be used if the minor child is temporarily traveling with or living with another adult.

Real Estate Power of Attorney

A real estate power of attorney grants power to the agent to buy, sell, and manage real estate on the principal's behalf.

  • Because of the nature of this document and the potential legal issues that could arise, seek legal advice before using this POA.

Tax Power of Attorney

A tax power of attorney, officially known in Oklahoma as form BT-129, allows the agent who is usually a qualified individual such as an accountant, to prepare and submit tax information to the Oklahoma Tax Commission on behalf of the principal.

  • It also allows the agent to answer questions asked by the Oklahoma Tax Commission about the principal’s taxes.

Vehicle Power of Attorney

A vehicle power of attorney allows the agent to buy, sell, and handle the necessary paperwork with the Oklahoma Department of Motor Vehicles on the principal's behalf.

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