A power of attorney is an important estate planning tool for anyone. Whether it is an elderly parent granting a power of attorney to an adult child or a husband and wife granting each other a power of attorney, having the proper legal documents to ensure that your agent can act on your behalf is vital to ensuring that your wishes are carried out. Even if at some later date you decide to terminate an Oklahoma power of attorney, it is still a wise and sound estate planning tool that some people overlook.
For example, most couples assume that they have the authority to make lifesaving decisions for each other if one spouse becomes incapacitated. However, without a medical power of attorney or a durable power of attorney, the healthcare professionals may be making that decision for you rather than your spouse. Likewise, if your spouse becomes incapacitated, you may not have the authority to make financial decisions for your spouse without going through the probate court to be awarded guardianship or conservatorship for your loved one.
You can prevent a costly and time-consuming ordeal by contacting a Tulsa estate planning attorney to discuss your legal options regarding powers of attorney.
Ways to terminate an Oklahoma power of attorney
It may become necessary for you to revoke or terminate an Oklahoma power of attorney. You may change your mind about the powers you have given to your agent, or you may wish to appoint another agent to step into your shoes to handle your affairs should you be unable to do so for any reason. According to the power of attorney laws in Oklahoma, there are several ways that you can revoke or terminate an Oklahoma power of attorney:
- Death of the principal – All powers of attorney are automatically terminated upon the death of the principal.
- Incapacitation of the principal – Unless the durable power of attorney has specific language to continue the powers granted within the document, the power of attorney will terminate upon the incapacitation of the principal. The durable power of attorney must have one of these specific provisions to be valid after the principal is incapacitated:
“This Power of Attorney shall not be affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal, or lapse of time;” OR
“This Power of Attorney shall become effective upon the disability or incapacity of the principal.”
- Notice of revocation – At any time during the principal’s life, he or she may revoke or terminate an Oklahoma power of attorney by providing written and oral noticed to the agent that the power of attorney is revoked. The principal should also provide written notice to any third parties that he or she knows is relying on the power of attorney, as well as obtain the original and all copies of the power of attorney to destroy.
- Signing a new power of attorney – Prior powers of attorney may be revoked by signing a new power of attorney. However, the new power of attorney must contain a specific clause revoking or terminating all previous powers of attorney executed by the principal.
If you have any questions about how to terminate an Oklahoma power of attorney, you should contact a qualified estate planning attorney. Just as drafting and signing a power of attorney is an important step that you should not take without an attorney to advise you of your legal rights, revoking a power of attorney may also open up more estate planning questions that must be addressed in order to ensure that your wishes are carried out in the event you are unable to do so for yourself.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney in Tulsa
When you need the services of an experienced estate planning attorney, call Oklahoma Will & Trust. Tulsa Estate Attorney Earl D. Lawson has the experience and knowledge to assist you with all of your estate planning and probate needs. As a skilled Tulsa estate planning attorney, Earl D. Lawson knows the advantages of protecting your estate and ensuring that your wishes are followed.
Contact an experienced Tulsa estate planning attorney today for a free consultation about the best approach to protecting your legacy. Call (918) 876-4500 to schedule your free consultation. We are conveniently located at 201 W. Fifth Street, Suite 404 in Tulsa, OK.