Understanding Power of Attorney and Guardianship in Oklahoma
This is Oklahoma lawyer James Wirth. As we age, there may come a time when we need assistance with managing our affairs. When that happens, it’s important to know the difference between a power of attorney and guardianship in Oklahoma.
A power of attorney is a legal document that grants another person (the attorney-in-fact) the authority to act on your behalf. It can be effective immediately, or it can be springing, meaning it only becomes effective when you become incapacitated. A durable power of attorney remains in effect even if you lose capacity, while a non-durable power of attorney ends when you become incapacitated.
Guardianship, on the other hand, is a court-ordered process in which a guardian is appointed to make decisions for someone who is unable to make decisions for themselves. It is typically used when someone has already lost capacity and cannot execute a power of attorney.
The Differences Between Power of Attorney and Guardianship
The main difference between power of attorney and guardianship is how they are established. A power of attorney is established through a legal document that is executed by the individual while they have the capacity to do so. Guardianship, on the other hand, is established through a court order when the individual has already lost capacity.
Another key difference is the level of oversight involved. A power of attorney grants the attorney-in-fact broad authority to act on behalf of the individual, with limited oversight from others. Guardianship, however, involves court oversight to ensure that the guardian is acting in the best interests of the individual.
When to Consider Power of Attorney vs. Guardianship
If you are still capable of making decisions for yourself, a power of attorney may be the best option. It allows you to choose someone you trust to act on your behalf, without the need for court involvement. If you have already lost capacity, or if you anticipate losing capacity in the near future, guardianship may be the better option.
It’s important to note that power of attorney and guardianship are not mutually exclusive. In some cases, you may need both. For example, a power of attorney can be used to manage your financial affairs, while guardianship can be used to make medical decisions.
Get Legal Advice for Your Specific Circumstances
So if you’re dealing with a scenario where you’re needing to help out a friend or family member and trying to see if power of attorney is still workable for you, or if you need a guardianship, then you wanna talk to an attorney about that privately, confidentially, get legal advice specific to your circumstances, to get that scheduled with a Tulsa family law attorney at my office, go online to makelaweasy.com.