The Oklahoma durable power of attorney (durable POA) is a legal document that enables one party, called the principal, to authorize another party, called the agent or the attorney-in-fact, to represent them before governmental, financial, medical, or other institutions and third parties.
The main difference between the durable and other types of power of attorney is that the eventual incapacity of the principal will not have an effect on the validity or effectiveness of the document.
The principal can use the Oklahoma durable power of attorney in every situation where they are not able to personally complete a certain action or make a certain decision. This can happen due to the principal's dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or simply because the principal is located far away from the place where certain actions must be completed.
Durable Power of Attorney Laws & Requirements in Oklahoma
Laws & Requirements
Relevant laws: Oklahoma Statutes, Title 58, § 1071 - § 1077
Signing requirements: The principal must sign the Oklahoma durable power of attorney before at least two witnesses and a notary public. §58-1072.2
Statutory form: The Oklahoma Statutes, § 15-1003 provides the statutory form for the power of attorney.
“Durable” as defined by the state law: According to §58-1072, the Oklahoma durable power of attorney is a document that must include the words "This power of attorney shall not be affected by subsequent disability, incapacity, or extended absence of the principal, or lapse of time," or "This power of attorney shall become effective upon the disability, incapacity, or extended absence of the principal."
How to Fill out a Durable Power of Attorney in Oklahoma
#1. Designate an Agent
Firstly, you should determine the person who will represent you and protect your interests.
The agent should be an adult with the legal capacity to act. Moreover, you should choose a person you trust, especially if they are authorized to make decisions about your finances or healthcare.
If you need someone to represent you before the court or tax authorities, it is better to name someone with professional knowledge in these fields as your agent. That can be the lawyer, accountant, tax advisor, or another relevant person.
Here, you can also name the successor agent. They will act in case the primary agent becomes incapacitated or, in some other way, becomes unable to represent you.
#2. Grant Authority
Once you have determined the agent, you should define their scope of authority.
There are three main ways in which you can determine your agent’s scope of authority:
Scope of Authority
General authority. If you select this option, you will enable your agent to represent you before all third parties and conduct all the activities on your behalf. You can also limit the general authority by providing a list of activities that are not included in the agent’s scope of authority.
Partial authority. Here, you can select the activities you want to include in your agent’s scope of authority from the list of activities provided in the durable power of attorney form. You can select the activity you want to include by signing your initials next to it.
Special authority. This option gives you the flexibility to define your agent’s scope of authority in your own words. In this way, you can include the activities that are not provided in the durable power of attorney form.
#3. Ensure the Form is Durable
In Oklahoma, the power of attorney is not presumed to be durable by default. That means that you must include specific language in the document to make it durable.
#4. Sign the Form
The principal or another person in the principal’s conscious presence must sign the durable power of attorney before at least two witnesses.
#5. Notarize the Form
The Oklahoma durable power of attorney must be notarized. By notarizing the document, the notary public will acknowledge the authenticity of the principal’s signature and the overall authenticity of the document.
#6. Store Your Durable Power of Attorney Form
After you have finalized the document, you should keep it in your possession and store it in a safe place.
How to Revoke a Durable Power of Attorney in Oklahoma
The best way to revoke the Oklahoma durable power of attorney is to issue a revocation letter. This letter should include the name of the agent, the date of issuing the power of attorney, and other information that will help the parties individualize the power of attorney you want to revoke.
To make the revocation effective, you should give a copy to the agent as well as to every third party the agent is interacting with on your behalf.