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What Is an Oregon Power of Attorney?

An Oregon power of attorney is a legal form that acts as the authorization for an individual, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, to make financial decisions, healthcare decisions, real estate decisions, or estate decisions on behalf of the person granting the authority. An Oregon POA is often used for estate planning. However, there are also other instances where it is a useful tool.

Quick Reference:

The person granting permission is referred to as the principal, donor, or grantor.

The person receiving authorization is known as the agent or attorney in fact.

OR POA Laws:

An Oregon power of attorney is a power of attorney form must comply with Chapter 127 of Oregon’s statutes. These laws specifically outline 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 key points that outline the state’s power of attorney provisions:

  • The attorney-in-fact is given the power to make decisions on the principal’s behalf; for healthcare power of attorneys that are durable, this may include life prolonging acts that do not conflict with the grantor’s other wishes.
  • If the attending physician refuses to recognize the power of attorney, perhaps because they disagree with the decision of the attorney-in-fact, they must either discharge the patient without abandoning them or make reasonable efforts to transfer the principal to the care of a physician that will recognize the power of attorney.
  • Attending physicians who refuse to recognize a healthcare power of attorney and act in good faith will not be found liable in civil or criminal court.
  • To create a power of attorney of any kind, a principal must be at least 18 years old.
  • The principal creating the document must be of sound mind and understand the ramifications of signing the document.
  • If there is no ending date, the power of attorney is considered durable.

The principal may specifically designate which powers that an agent does or doesn’t have. Additionally, the principal may also revoke a power of attorney. According to the Oregon State Bar, a power of attorney is terminated when:

  • The principal provides the agent something in writing stating that their authority is revoked.
  • The principal dies.
  • The purpose of the power of attorney is fulfilled and the date listed in the document has passed.

Why Would You Use an Oregon Power of Attorney Form?

There are several reasons why someone would use an Oregon power of attorney form to give someone the authority to make decisions related to their tangible personal property, financial institution transactions, tax matters, or their well-being. Some of those reasons 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 who are perfectly healthy, establish the proper powers of attorney to manage their affairs and have their wishes fulfilled.
  • A person with a mental illness may require a different type of 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 need for a power of attorney may vary. Thankfully, there are several types of power of attorney documents. Before you decide to use a power of attorney, you should seek legal advice. Ask about the best POA to suit your needs and how to revoke a power of attorney if it becomes necessary. Here are a few of the most common.

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney grants an agent the authority to handle financial matters on behalf of the principal.

  • This authorization is revoked if the principal become incapacitated or if they pass away.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable 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.

  • The term "durable" comes from the fact that this authorization continues if the principal were to become disabled or incapacitated. In Oregon, if a power of attorney does not include an ending date, it is considered a durable power of attorney.

Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney grants limited power to whatever the principal specifies.

  • In many cases, an agent will have power to handle financial decisions or make medical decisions, but will not have authority to do other things such as sell property (depending on what the grantor decides). Just like a general power of attorney, the authority terminates if the principal dies or if the principal revokes it.

Medical Power of Attorney

A medical power of attorney grants power to the agent to make important health care decisions on the principal’s behalf.

  • It does not allow the agent to make end of life decisions. A medical power of attorney is not the same as an advance directive or living will. A law firm can give you more information about how Oregon Revised Statutes affect these documents.

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 event that the parent or guardian 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 or if the minor child is temporarily traveling or living with another adult.

Real Estate Power of Attorney

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

  • This includes managing the necessary financial affairs associated with the transactions. Seek legal advice before using this type of POA.

Tax Power of Attorney

A tax power of attorney allows the agent who is usually a qualified individual such as an accountant, to prepare and submit tax information to the Oregon Department of Revenue on behalf of the principal.

Vehicle Power of Attorney

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

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