Does your personal preparedness plan include a durable power of attorney?
McAfee & Taft recognizes the need for our clients to be as prepared as possible to face the uncertainties posed by COVID-19. As such, we encourage our clients to consider whether it is appropriate for them to obtain or update a durable power of attorney as part of their personal preparedness efforts. A durable power of attorney can be a powerful tool to help you protect your family in the event that you become incapacitated.
Generally, a durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows an individual – the principal – to designate another – the attorney-in-fact – to act on their behalf. They can become effective either immediately or in the event that the principal becomes temporarily or permanently disabled or incapacitated. Under a durable power of attorney, the principal may designate how much authority the attorney-in-fact has with respect to decisions about the principal’s property and health care. With some exceptions, durable powers of attorney can be drafted as narrowly or as expansively as the circumstances require.
Durable powers of attorney may be especially important for individuals who are particularly susceptible to COVID-19. If these individuals do not have a durable power of attorney in place that designates an attorney-in-fact, their family’s ability to obtain information about the individual’s health or property – or to make decisions with respect to their health or property – may be limited in the event that the individual becomes incapacitated.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services offers a free health care durable power of attorney form online at this link: http://www.okdhs.org/OKDHS%20Publication%20Library/99-63.pdf.
For more information, or for assistance in obtaining a customized durable power of attorney, please contact one of our Tax and Family Wealth Group lawyers.