A DURABLE APPROACH
The power of attorney is critical for protecting a person’s interests in the event that he or she becomes ill or incapacitated. Along with the living will and the health care proxy, this document ensures that the principal’s wishes regarding the management of his or her affairs will be respected, even though the principal may not be able to act for him-or herself. Without it, there is the risk that an ill or incapacitated person’s affairs would be managed by a court supervised stranger. Traditionally, a power of attorney was perceived to have limited usefulness because it did not survive the death or disability of the principal. This led to the creating of the durable power of attorney, so named because it survives the principals’s incapacity.
Oklahoma allows a power of attorney to be durable. Meaning it will still be effective upon disability or incompetency. Special statutory wording is required. Some durable powers of attorney require witnesses. Certain individuals are disqualified to witness. And the maker of the power of attorney must be of sound mind. Sound mind in Oklahoma does not necessarily mean that some who has dementia or has Alzheimer’s disease is disqualified from making a power of attorney, will, or trust. It requires an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable of the law to guide the family through this process so that any documents put in place will be effective and comply with the law.
If you need an qualified attorney, contact Brent D. Coldiron, attorney at law, 1800 E. Memorial Road, Suite 106, Oklahoma City, OK 73131 or 2801 Parklawn Drive, Suite 503, Midwest City, OK 73110; telephone (405) 478-5655 and 737-2244. Brent has over 41 years experience handling a variety of legal matters, including probates, wills, trusts, business formation, elder law, Medicaid qualification for nursing home care, Medicaid and VA Shield Trusts, corporations, limited liability companies, and guardianships. Give Brent a call, he knows what to do!