What is power of attorney?

When you are putting together your estate plan in Oklahoma, you have to take into consideration a number of items. Your property, accounts and belongings will probably dominate a lot of the conversations you have with family members.

Do not forget to assign a power of attorney. Through this process, you enable someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf. A general power of attorney grants the following capabilities to someone: 

  •        They can act on your behalf for financial transactions.
  •        They can handle business affairs.
  •        They can buy life insurance or make gifts.

Experts typically recommend putting a durable power of attorney in place, which ensures that if you become incapacitated or incompetent, someone can make decisions on your behalf. As stated in Oklahoma's Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act, you can assign someone the power to handle both your financial and medical affairs, as long as the person complies with the state's health care proxy requirements.

As the American Bar Association points out, having a health care power of attorney is important for anyone who wants to ensure that end-of-life wishes are kept. For example, a health care power of attorney can make medical decisions on your behalf, including which treatments to have and which to avoid. The ABA recommends that the health care agent is not only someone you trust, but someone who is willing to do the job.

Experts advise that you should appoint your first choice and have a backup power of attorney in the event that the initial person is no longer able or willing to do the job.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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