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How to Make a Power of Attorney in Oklahoma FAQ

Written by: Catherine Hodder, Esq. , Senior Legal Writer
Reviewed by: Madison Hess, J.D. , Legal Writer
Last updated May 17, 2024

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A power of attorney gives you peace of mind that someone you trust is in charge of your legal and financial affairs if you need help or are incapacitated due to a disability or illness. Learn more about power of attorney documents and how to create a valid power of attorney in Oklahoma.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document where a principal authorizes someone as their agent or attorney in fact to act on the principal’s behalf. The agent has legal authority to act in place of the principal. There are different types of powers of attorney for different purposes. A financial power of attorney allows your agent to handle legal or financial matters when you cannot make your own decisions. For health care matters and medical decisions, you use a health care power of attorney, called an advance directive in Oklahoma.

With a power of attorney, you choose who can speak for you when you can’t. If you had a sudden disability or incapacity and couldn’t manage your affairs, your family members would have to go to court for a conservatorship. A court decides who should handle your decision-making, called a “conservator.” If you already have a power of attorney, you avoid a conservatorship.

Who Can Be My Agent?

As long as your agent is 18 or older and has a sound mind (meaning mentally competent), they can be a family member, friend, accountant, or attorney. Your agent must be organized, responsible, and, above all, trustworthy. Choosing an agent may be difficult, but look for someone who can honor your wishes. Your agent has a fiduciary duty to act in your best interests and avoid conflicts of interest.

It is not a good idea to name co-agents because that becomes complicated. If you want your agents to act jointly, they may disagree, and neither can act. If you allow your agents to act independently, they may contradict each other, which may be difficult when dealing with third parties such as banks.

What Can My Agent Do in Oklahoma?

You control what powers you want your agent to have. For example, you may want them to be able to handle your bank accounts, pay bills, and manage your real estate, in addition to making financial decisions, or you may want to give them broad powers to do anything you can do. Under Oklahoma Statutes §3027-§3040 you can grant your agent general authority to handle transactions involving:

  • Real property (real estate)
  • Tangible personal property (possessions)
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Commodities and options
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Operation of entity or business
  • Insurance and annuities
  • Estates, trusts, and other beneficial interests
  • Claims and litigation
  • Personal and family maintenance
  • Benefits from governmental programs or civil or military service
  • Retirement Plans
  • Taxes
  • Gifts

However, there are specific powers under §3024, for which you must expressly grant to your agent. These powers allow your agent to reduce your estate.

  • Create, amend, revoke, or terminate a living trust
  • Make a gift
  • Create or change rights of survivorship
  • Create or change a beneficiary designation
  • Authorize another person to exercise authority under the power of attorney
  • Waive the principal’s right to be a beneficiary of a joint and survivor annuity, including a survivor benefit under a retirement plan
  • Exercise fiduciary powers that the principal has authority to delegate
  • Exercise authority over the content of electronic communications
  • Disclaim property, including a power of appointment

You may want your agent to have the power to reduce your estate to qualify you for government benefits like Social Security or Medicaid or to minimize estate taxes. Think carefully about what powers you want to give, and talk to your agent about how you want them to handle your property and assets.

What Is a Durable Power of Attorney in Oklahoma?

durable power of attorney means that your power of attorney remains effective even if you become incapacitated and can no longer manage your affairs. Under §3004, your power of attorney is durable unless it expressly provides that it terminates upon the principal’s incapacity.

When Is the Power of Attorney Effective?

Under §3009, an Oklahoma POA is effective when you sign it unless you provide for a future date or future event or contingency (such as your incapacity) in your power of attorney. A power of attorney with a future date or contingency is called a “springing” power of attorney.

When Does the Power of Attorney End?

Under Oklahoma §3010, the power of attorney ends when one of the following occurs:

  • The principal dies;
  • The principal becomes incapacitated if the power of attorney is non-durable;
  • The principal revokes the power of attorney;
  • The power of attorney provides that it terminates;
  • The purpose of the power of attorney is accomplished; or
  • The principal revokes the agent’s authority or the agent dies, becomes incapacitated or resigns, and the power of attorney does not provide for another agent to act under the power of attorney.

The agent’s authority to act under the power of attorney terminates when:

  • The principal revokes the authority;
  • The agent dies, becomes incapacitated, or resigns;
  • An action is filed for divorce or annulment of the agent’s marriage to the principal or their legal separation, unless the power of attorney otherwise provides; or
  • The power of attorney terminates.

Does Oklahoma Have a Statutory Power of Attorney?

Yes. Oklahoma has a statutory power of attorney form under §3041. However, you are not required to use their POA form. You can create a customized power of attorney yourself or hire an estate planning attorney.

Can I Make My Own Power of Attorney in Oklahoma?

Yes. If you are 18 or older and mentally competent, you can make your own power of attorney. You should know who you want to name as your agent and what authority you want to grant them. Many people looking to do it themselves use online estate planning forms. Make sure that the forms conform to Oklahoma law and that you sign the documents according to Oklahoma’s requirements. If you have questions about power of attorney documents, however, you should contact an estate planning attorney for legal advice.

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How Do I Make My Power of Attorney Valid in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma has legal requirements under §3005 to make a power of attorney valid. The principal must sign the document or direct someone to sign it for them in their conscious presence and in front of a notary public.

Do I Have to Notarize My Power of Attorney in Oklahoma?

Yes. Oklahoma requires a notary public to attest to the principal’s signature.

What Should I Do After Signing My Power of Attorney?

After signing your power of attorney, provide copies to your agent and any institutions or individuals that may require it to carry out the given powers, such as your bank. Keep your original power of attorney in a secure place. A bank or financial institution may require your agent to sign an agent certification form in which they certify that your power of attorney is effective and they are authorized to serve as your agent.

Does My Power of Attorney Agent Get Paid in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, your agent can be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with your power of attorney. They may also receive reasonable compensation for their time unless you state otherwise in your power of attorney document.

Is My Oklahoma Power of Attorney Valid in Another State?

Yes. A power of attorney created and executed in Oklahoma according to Oklahoma state law will be recognized in another state.

Can I Revoke My Oklahoma Power of Attorney?

Yes. You have the right to revoke your power of attorney at any time during your life as long as you are competent. To revoke your power of attorney, provide written notice of revocation to your agent and any third parties relying on your original power of attorney. You should also destroy your original power of attorney.

What Estate Planning Documents Should I Have in Oklahoma?

Your financial power of attorney is helpful when you can’t manage your own affairs and avoids the need for a conservatorship. You should also consider other estate planning documents, such as an advance directive and a last will and testament for a complete estate plan.

An advance directive in Oklahoma incorporates a medical power of attorney and a living will. This may also be called a health care directive. In your directive, you name a health care proxy as the decision maker for your healthcare. They can talk to medical providers, get medical records, and make healthcare decisions. You can also state your wishes for end-of-life care, such as medical treatments or life-prolonging measures you want or don’t want.

last will and testament contains your wishes for what happens to your assets and loved ones when you die. In your will, you name who you want to manage your estate (a personal representative or executor), who inherits your property and assets (your beneficiaries), and who should care for your minor children. If you don’t have a will, you die “intestate,” and a probate court distributes your estate according to Oklahoma intestacy laws and decides who cares for your children.

Fortunately, with online estate planning templates, it is easy to make a valid power of attorney and create estate planning documents in Oklahoma.

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