The Oklahoma Durable Power of Attorney form is a legally binding document that allows an individual, known as the Principal, to delegate their financial affairs and other important decisions to a person they trust, referred to as an Agent or Attorney-in-Fact.

The term ‘Durable’ implies that the power of attorney remains effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated, hence it’s often a crucial component of estate and long-term care planning.

Completing this document ensures that the principal’s wishes will be carried out even if they are unable to articulate them, providing a protective measure for the principal and bringing clarity and legal recognition to the agent’s role.

Throughout this form, as the principal, you are deciding and declaring who should manage your affairs in your stead and delineating what powers they have. It’s an important decision requiring trust and understanding of what the chosen agent will need to do.

 

Step 1: The Principal 

 

In this line, you’re identifying yourself as the Principal, the person granting authority. This authenticates the document and ensures the right individual is issuing the power.

Example: If your name is John Doe, you would enter “John Doe”.

 

Step 2: Name of Agent

 

 

Here you’ll name your Agent, the person you trust to make decisions on your behalf. This avoids any ambiguity about who has the granted power.

Example: If the person you are appointing is Jane Smith, you would enter “Jane Smith”.

 

Step 3: Agent’s Address

 

This is where you indicate the Agent’s full residential address. This concrete detail supports any necessary legal proceedings or communication.

Example: If Jane Smith lives at “123 Main Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73102”, you would enter this address.

 

Step 4: Agent’s Telephone Number

 

By providing the Agent’s telephone number, you’re ensuring a direct line of communication for any matters related to the power of attorney.

Example: If Jane Smith’s phone number is “(405) 123-4567”, you would enter this number.

 

Step 5: Name of Successor Agent

 

Choosing to name a Successor Agent provides a backup plan, maintaining a chain of decision-making should your primary Agent be unable to perform their duties.

Example: If your first successor agent is Bob Johnson, you would enter “Bob Johnson”.

 

 

Step 6: Successor Agent’s Address

 

The Successor Agent’s address, much like the Agent’s address, provides a contact point for legal or communication purposes.

Example: If Bob Johnson lives at “456 Elm Street, Tulsa, OK 74103”, you would enter this address.

 

Step 7: Successor Agent’s Telephone Number

 

The telephone number of your Successor Agent is another essential contact point, serving as a backup communication channel if the primary agent is unavailable.

Example: If Bob Johnson’s phone number is “(918) 456-7890”, you would enter this number.

 

Step 8: Name of Second Successor Agent

 

A Second Successor Agent is another safety net, providing you with peace of mind knowing that even if your Agent and first Successor Agent cannot act, there is still someone to make decisions on your behalf.

Example: If your second successor agent is Mary Lee, you would enter “Mary Lee”.

 

Step 9: Second Successor Agent’s Address

 

Providing the address of the Second Successor Agent allows for potential legal and communication needs, ensuring a smooth transition should they need to step in.

Example: If Mary Lee lives at “789 Pine Avenue, Edmond, OK 73003”, you would enter this address.

 

Step 10: Second Successor Agent’s Telephone Number

 

Lastly, providing the telephone number of your Second Successor Agent ensures a direct communication line, even if your primary Agent and first Successor Agent cannot act.

Example: If Mary Lee’s phone number is “(405) 789-0123”, you would enter this number.

 

Step 11: Grant Of General Authority

 

This section involves delineating the specific areas or subjects in which your Agent has the authority to act on your behalf. You’re defining the scope of their power as per the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, Section 3001 et seq. of Title 58 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

For each subject, you would put your initials next to the items that you want your Agent to have authority over. If you want to grant them authority over everything listed, you may initial “All Preceding Subjects”.

 

Step 12:  Real Property

 

Real Property pertains to land and any permanent fixtures attached to it like houses, buildings, and farms. Giving authority in this area means the agent can manage, sell, or make decisions about these types of properties on your behalf.

Example: If you own a house and you want your agent to have the authority to sell it if necessary, you would initial this item.

 

Step 13: Tangible Personal Property

 

 

This covers any physical or tangible assets you own, like vehicles, furniture, jewelry, and personal belongings. Granting authority here allows your agent to manage these items.

Example: If you want your agent to have the authority to sell your car, you would initial this item.

 

Step 14: Stocks and Bonds

 

 

This means the agent has the authority to manage your investments, including buying, selling, or making other decisions related to stocks and bonds.

Example: If you have a portfolio of stocks and bonds and want your agent to manage it, you would initial this item.

 

 

Step 15: Commodities and Options

 

By initialing here, you’re giving your agent authority over your investments in commodities and options, which could include futures contracts or options contracts.

Example: If you trade in the commodities market and want your agent to handle this in your absence, you would initial this item.

 

Step 16: Banks and Other Financial Institutions

 

 

This pertains to dealings with banks or financial institutions, such as making deposits, withdrawals, or managing other banking matters.

Example: If you want your agent to handle your banking needs, including paying bills, you would initial this item.

 

Step 17: Operation of Entity or Business

 

If you own a business, your agent can oversee operations, make decisions, or even sell the business on your behalf if you initial this item.

Example: If you own a small business and want your agent to oversee it, you would initial this item.

 

Step 18: Insurance and Annuities

 

Initialing this item means your agent can manage your insurance policies or annuities, including making claims, renewing policies, or purchasing new ones.

Example: If you have various insurance policies and want your agent to manage them, you would initial this item.

 

Step 19: Estates, Trusts and Other Beneficial Interests

 

 

This gives your agent the authority to manage your interests in estates, trusts, or other beneficial interests. This could involve changing beneficiaries or making decisions about trust distributions.

Example: If you have a family trust and want your agent to manage it, you would initial this item.

 

Step 20: Claims and Litigation

 

 

This item gives your agent the power to represent you in legal matters, including filing or managing ongoing litigation.

Example: If you’re involved in a lawsuit and want your agent to handle it, you would initial this item.

 

Step 21: Personal and Family Maintenance

 

 

By initialing this, you’re authorizing your agent to use your assets for the care and support of you and your dependents.

Example: If you want your agent to have the authority to pay for your living expenses or those of your dependents, you would initial this item.

 

Step 22: Benefits from Governmental Programs or Civil or Military Service

 

 

This item covers things like Social Security benefits, Medicare, or military benefits. Your agent can manage these on your behalf if you initial here.

Example: If you want your agent to handle your Social Security benefits, you would initial this item.

 

Step 23: Retirement Plans

 

Your agent can make decisions about your retirement plans, including making withdrawals or changing investment allocations, if you initial this item.

Example: If you have a 401(k) and want your agent to manage it, you would initial this item.

 

Step 24: Taxes

 

Your agent can file taxes on your behalf, communicate with tax agencies, and make decisions about tax matters if you initial this item.

Example: If you want your agent to handle your annual tax filings, you would initial this item.

 

Step 25: All Preceding Subjects

 

By initialing this item, you’re giving your agent general authority over all of the subjects listed above.

Example: If you want your agent to have broad authority to act on your behalf in all these areas, you would initial this item.

 

Grant Of Specific Authority

 

This section pertains to granting specific authority to your Agent. These are powerful and potentially impactful actions that your Agent cannot perform unless you specifically initial each item to grant them that authority.

 

Step 1: Create, amend, revoke or terminate an inter vivos trust

 

By initialing this item, you are allowing your agent to create, change, or end a living trust on your behalf. This can be important for estate planning purposes.

Example: If you trust your agent to manage or alter your living trust for estate planning, you would initial this item.

 

Step 2: Make a gift, subject to the limitations of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act

 

This gives your agent the ability to make gifts on your behalf, subject to legal limitations. This might be relevant for tax planning or maintaining family traditions.

Example: If you want your agent to continue your tradition of gifting your grandchildren on their birthdays, you would initial this item.

 

Step 3: Create or change rights of survivorship

 

If you initial this, your agent can alter who inherits certain types of co-owned property after you pass away. This is a significant decision that can affect your estate after your death.

Example: If you trust your agent to modify the beneficiaries of your joint properties, you would initial this item.

 

Step 4: Create or change a beneficiary designation

 

If you initial this item, your agent can designate or change beneficiaries on your insurance policies, retirement accounts, or other accounts with a payable-on-death clause.

Example: If you want your agent to update the beneficiaries on your retirement account in case of life changes, you would initial this item.

 

Step 5: Authorize another person to exercise the authority 

 

This allows your agent to delegate their power to another person. It’s a powerful authority that should be given with caution.

Example: If you trust your agent to appoint another reliable person to help them manage your affairs, you would initial this item.

 

 

Step 6: Waive the principal’s right to be a beneficiary 

 

 

Initialing here means your agent can waive your right to receive benefits from a joint and survivor annuity or retirement plan. This is a substantial financial decision.

Example: If you want your agent to have the power to waive such rights for strategic financial planning, you would initial this item.

 

Step 7: Exercise fiduciary powers that the principal has authority to delegate

 

 

By initialing this, your agent can exercise any fiduciary powers you have the authority to delegate. This could include responsibilities related to trusts, guardianships, or other fiduciary roles.

Example: If you have a trust and you want your agent to manage it in your place, you would initial this item.

 

Step 8: Access the content of electronic communications

 

 

If you want your agent to access and manage your digital life, which could include emails, social media accounts, or online banking, you would initial this item.

Example: If you want your agent to manage your digital communications, you would initial this item.

 

Step 9: Disclaim or refuse an interest in property

 

 

This authority allows your agent to refuse an interest in the property on your behalf, which may be relevant in specific tax or estate planning situations.

Example: If you trust your agent to make strategic decisions about accepting or refusing property, you will initial this item.

 

Step 10: Special Instructions

 

This section allows you to add any special instructions for your agent, beyond what’s outlined in the form.

This could include details about when to sell certain assets, how to handle specific medical decisions or any other unique circumstances that you want to address.

Example: If you want your agent to consult with your accountant before making major financial decisions, you would write that in this section.

 

Step 11: Reliance On This Power Of Attorney

 

This statement reassures anyone who may interact with your agent that they can trust the authority granted by this document, as long as they are not aware of its termination or invalidation.

It’s a form of legal protection for third parties acting in reliance on the document.

 

Step 12: Signature And Acknowledgment

 

This is the section where you, as the principal, sign and date the document, legitimizing it. Include your printed name, address, and telephone number.

It’s important to know that your signature should ideally be done in front of a notary public, who verifies your identity and willingness to sign the document.

Example: John Doe, living at 123 Main St, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, would sign, print his name, and provide his address and phone number.

 

Step 13: Notarization 

 

This section is for the notary public to complete. The notary will confirm that you appeared before them, confirmed your understanding of the document, and signed it willingly.

The notary will then sign, stamp, or seal the document, along with providing the expiration date of the commission. This process gives additional legal validity to the Power of Attorney.

Example: A notary public in Oklahoma County would complete this section when John Doe signs his Power of Attorney in their presence.

 

Conclusion

 

In conclusion, the Oklahoma Durable Power of Attorney form is not just a legal requirement but a significant tool for future planning. It provides a secure and efficient way for the principal to ensure their financial and other affairs will be handled in their best interest, even in the face of unexpected incapacitation.

This form also protects the agent by granting them the legal authority to carry out the principal’s wishes and reassures third parties that they can safely interact with the agent.

Filling out this form thoroughly and correctly will facilitate a smoother transition should the principal be unable to manage their affairs, providing protection and peace of mind for all parties involved.