There are times when the decision-making capacity of an Oklahoma resident can deteriorate due to mental or physical problems. In anticipation of these events, many estate planning attorneys recommend preparing a power of attorney that would appoint a trusted individual to act on the grantor's behalf as attorney-in-fact and to make certain types of decisions.
Anyone age 18 or older may be appointed as attorney-in-fact over another individual's medical, financial, or personal affairs. The request must be submitted at the office of the district court for the county in which the individual executing the power of attorney resides. That request must be done in writing by the person executing the power of attorney.
Once the application is submitted, the court must follow certain protocol before final approval is given. The request must be published at least once as a legal notice in a newspaper of record for the county in which the individual resides. In addition, each potential heir to the person who will be executing the power of attorney must be informed in writing of the request. A court hearing will then be set approximately 10 days from the date of the written notification to heirs, and if no disagreement is voiced the court then has the right to approve the request.
Taking care of another individual's personal affairs can be a time-consuming task, and the process for granting a power of attorney is sometimes filled with potential for confusion. The steps that are required must be taken carefully in order for a request to be granted, which is why the help of an estate planning attorney may prove useful.
Source: the Oklahoma State Courts Network, "Chapter 17 - Special Powers of Attorney", October 13, 2014