The holiday season provides Oklahomans with multiple opportunities to visit loved ones and cherish those familial bonds. This year, you may be visiting family members scattered across the state whom you have not seen in years.
Our firm hopes you enjoy every helping of glazed ham, collard greens, and pumpkin pie. However, we also know that, for many people, the holidays provide a sobering realization that an aging mom or dad isn’t as sharp as they used to be. Our firm stands ready to channel your worry into solid legal strategies to protect the health and home of those you love so deeply.
Does Your Parent Need a Guardianship or Power of Attorney?
When it comes to estate planning for aging Oklahomans, a guardianship and/or power of attorney are often used. Though similar, these two legal forms have some key differences.
- A guardianship is a legal arrangement wherein an adult assumes decision-making responsibilities over virtually every aspect of the life of a minor or incapacitated adult (referred to as the “ward”). The guardian can maintain the ward’s material belongings and make important decisions related to the ward’s health and wellbeing.
- A power of attorney empowers an agent with specific decision-making authority over certain matters of another adult. Depending on your parent’s situation, they may need a power of attorney that allows you to conduct financial transactions on their behalf. This is the most common use of power of attorney arrangements in Oklahoma and could allow you to file taxes, look after financial accounts, or maintain real property.
Location, Location, Location
Whether you should become the guardian or power-of-attorney agent for an aging parent has a lot to do with the geographical proximity between the two of you. Generally speaking, a guardian is more broadly and intimately involved in managing the ward’s wellbeing compared to an agent of a power of attorney.
As a result, Oklahoma courts generally prefer guardians of incapacitated adults not to live far from the ward. If you are unable to live close to your parent who needs a guardianship, an Oklahoma attorney or other local professional may need to be appointed. Conversely, an agent in a power of attorney arrangement can usually fulfill their legal obligations no matter their location.
Pence Law Firm, P.C. Can Help Identify the Right Care Strategy
We know how saddening it can be to realize your mom or dad needs help with everyday life. This realization often spurs difficult, but vitally important, conversations. Guardianships and powers of attorney are two common legal arrangements to help care for adults who need decision-making assistance. The right one for your loved one largely depends on their mental capacity and particular aspects for which they need help.
There are several different types of guardianships and powers of attorney, though, and a do-it-yourself estate plan can leave out significant details. Pence Law Firm, P.C. knows that estate law affects real people, and we always put our clients first. Reach out to our firm today to secure the future for your loved ones, and peace of mind for you.