Q: I live in Oklahoma and am trying to give someone power of attorney for me. How can I do this?
I have found many online forms, but have no idea how to make them legally binding. How do I do this? Should I use an online form? Does it have to be notarized or something else? Thank you in advance!!
A: Be very careful. I have lots of folks who walk in with an online power of attorney. I estimate that about 20% have serious errors. These may be drafting, witnessing, signing, and creating unworkable situations. Most attorneys will provide service on a flat fee basis or may provide you with the documents and instructions.
What about advanced healthcare directives?
Things can be done to avoid probate even without a will or a trust.
A: I agree with Richard - be very careful with online forms. They may be sufficient for states with large populations such as California, New York or Texas. But Oklahoma is a little more that 1% of the US population. How can they afford to spend an adequate amount of time customizing their general form to meet the statutory requirements of Oklahoma law? They can't.
Our office divides powers of attorney (POA's) into two categories: 1. Health Care; or 2.) Financial (i.e. everything else).
Oklahoma does provide some statutory forms for health care directives and financial POA's - but they may not be appropriate for your situation. That is why you should contact an attorney to help you evaluate your situation.
Of all the various estate planning forms, the POA's can be done rather quickly and for a very reasonable rate. (I have been able to produce them before the client left the office. I am sure Richard has as well.)
If done properly, a POA can be a cost-effective solution for various needs. If done improperly, a POA can become a very expensive source of aggravation.
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