Oklahoma estate planning tools: the Durable Power of Attorney

February 21, 2012

Today’s “Tools” post is the “Durable Power of Attorney.”

A durable power of attorney is a simple power of attorney which gives the attorney-in-fact (the person to whom power is given) the power to act for you. It is “durable” in that it is written in conformity with statutes which allow it to continue beyond the time you become incompetent or have a mental incapacity (if a power of attorney does NOT contain appropriate language to make it durable, it terminates at the time you become incompetent).

The benefit of having a Oklahoma durable power of attorney is that in the event of an incompetency, a guardianship should not have to be opened with the probate court to administer your property. A power of attorney, when properly drawn, also serves the purposes of allowing the attorney-in-fact (1) to act during periods when you are on extended travel and (2) to transfer non-trust assets to your primary trust during disability or prior to your death, when you are not otherwise capable of making the transfer yourself.

If done correctly, the durable power of attorney should prevent you family from having to go to court to have a guardian appointed for you. This means you save on the expense and potential battle between people who each think they should be the guardian.

If you have questions about a living will or any other estate planning issues, please feel free to contact me and to find out more about estate planning listen to my podcast “Estate Planning Demystified“.

Shawn Roberts

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I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. I tend to focus on estate planning and business issues. I make a living as an attorney working for Resolution Legal Group in Oklahoma City. I am husband to Amy and the father of Sam and David. We live exactly in the path where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."

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