Powers of Attorney Lawyers in Edmond
Protecting You and Your Loved Ones for Every Eventuality
In can be unpleasant to consider a scenario where you should become incapacitated and unable to communicate. Still, life can be unpredictable, and you might find yourself in a position where a sudden injury or illness renders you unable to advocate for yourself.
In these situations, it is critical that you have someone who is legally authorized to advocate on your behalf and make sure your wishes are honored. This can give you and your loved ones peace of mind in knowing your interests will be protected no matter what life throws your way.
By establishing powers of attorney, you designate individuals to handle simple or complex elements of your affairs. In Oklahoma, powers of attorney can be as simple as paying bills when you are physically unable to or as complex as managing your business affairs or making significant medical decisions. Our Edmond powers of attorney lawyers at Gossen and Schaller, PLLC can evaluate your goals and concerns and advise you on what steps to take to make sure your future is secure.
Types of Powers of Attorney
There are several types of powers of attorney you can establish in Oklahoma. Some are specific to a certain category of decision making, while others vary in complexity. There are also different thresholds for legally formalizing each type.
Types of powers of attorney you can consider appointing include:
- Simple power of attorney – authorized to conduct simple tasks on behalf of an individual while they are still alive and mentally competent, automatically expiring when the principal passes away or becomes debilitated
- Durable power of attorney – similar to a simple power of attorney but remains active when the principal becomes debilitated or mentally incompetent
- Springing power of attorney – only activates when an individual becomes mentally incompetent or debilitated, often with the authorization of a doctor; automatically expires when the principal passes or is no longer debilitated
- Healthcare/medical power of attorney – gives the designated agent the ability to make decisions on medical care, within the scope the principal sets, should the principal become debilitated
- Business affairs/financial power of attorney – authorizes the designated agent to conduct business or financial affairs, within the scope the principal sets, should the principal become debilitated
Powers of attorney types can also be combined. For example, you could establish a springing, durable medical power of attorney that has the ability to make healthcare decisions for you but only if you become debilitated and unable to advocate for yourself. Our Edmond powers of attorney lawyers can assess the needs and wishes of your situation and make recommendations on what types you should consider.
For medical and financial powers of attorney, keep in mind you can define the scope of responsibilities. You might only want a medical power of attorney to give guidance on resuscitation or comas, for instance, or prefer your financial power of attorney only pay regular expenses or complete certain transactions. The scope can be as wide or as narrow as you choose, but it is essential you are specific in your language to ensure your wishes are protected.
Establishing powers of attorney is not as simple as writing down your intentions and designating an individual. Powers of attorney must be formally established under Oklahoma law in order to be legally enforceable. The requirements vary based on the type of powers of attorney you are seeking to establish, but generally, you will need some combination of a notary and trusted witnesses.
Simple powers of attorney only require a notary public. All other types of powers of attorney documents, including durable, springing, medical, and financial, must be signed in front of two witnesses and a notary public.
Like many estate planning documents, you must be of sound mind when formalizing your documents. Your witnesses will have to attest to this should your competency at the time of establishment be challenged down the line.
You should choose your witnesses carefully. They should not be any of the agents you name in your powers of attorney documents but should be individuals you trust. Legal problems can develop if a court cannot track down witnesses in the event the legitimacy of your powers of attorney is challenged. Try to ensure your witnesses are individuals who will remain accessible and testify on your behalf, if necessary.
We Can Help You Establish Powers of Attorney
At Gossen and Schaller, PLLC, our attorneys have over 20 years of combined legal experience helping Oklahoma clients plan for their futures. Our goal is to make establishing powers of attorney as simple and painless as possible. Our Edmond powers of attorney lawyers can evaluate your situation, understand your goals, and work to formalize documents that give you the peace of mind you deserve.
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