Terminating a Power of Attorney in Oklahoma
A power of attorney grants a person the legal authority to act on behalf of another. An individual who grants someone this power is known as the “principal,” while the person who is granted the authority to make decisions is known as the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.” A power of attorney gives an agent the authority to make legal decisions on behalf of a principal, including those involving financial and property matters, and it is typically used following the incapacitation of a principal or in situations in which a principal needs another person to sign legal documents on his or her behalf.
Power of Attorney Termination Methods
It sometimes become necessary to revoke an Oklahoma power of attorney, and there are a number of possible reasons for doing so. For example, the principal may change his or her mind regarding the level of authority given to an agent, or the principal may wish to replace the agent. In Oklahoma, there are several methods for terminating a power of attorney, including:
- Incapacitation of the principal – Unless an Oklahoma power of attorney contains language that continues the powers granted in the document following incapacitation of the principal, a power of attorney automatically terminates upon such incapacitation. There are a number of specific provisions that must be included in an Oklahoma power of attorney in order for it to remain valid following incapacitation; consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney will ensure that such language is included if desired by the principal.
- Death of the principal – Upon the death of the principal, all Oklahoma powers of attorney are automatically terminated.
- Revocation notice – A principal may, at any time during his or her life, terminate an Oklahoma power of attorney via written notice informing an agent that his or her power of attorney powers have been revoked. Notice of the revocation of a power of attorney is also typically provided to any third parties acting in reliance on the same, and copies of the original power of attorney document are usually collected and destroyed.
- The execution of a new power of attorney – A prior Oklahoma power of attorney may be terminated via the execution of a new power of attorney. However, in Oklahoma the new power of attorney is required to contain specific language terminating the previous power of attorney executed by the principal.
Given the legal analysis and expertise required to effectively draft or terminate Oklahoma power of attorney documents, it is important for those considering either of these options to consult with an experienced Oklahoma estate planning attorney to determine the best course of action to take. In order to discuss your estate planning needs and to determine whether the creation or revocation of an Oklahoma power of attorney is the appropriate choice for you, please contact Kristin R. Drake Attorney At Law, PLLC, for a free initial consultation at 405-679-2755.