There are certain estate planning documents that everyone should have. One of these is a durable power of attorney. Having a durable power of attorney in place is crucial when important health care decisions need to be made.
A durable power of attorney is a legal process that gives a designated person the ability to make health care decisions on a person's behalf if they become incapacitated. They can make the decision to consent to medical procedures or remove a person from life support. A durable power of attorney must be drafted when the person is of sound mind.
In Oklahoma, a person can give their agent either limited or full authority over health care decisions. If there are life-sustaining treatment decisions to be made then that power of attorney would need to comply with requirements of a health care proxy under Oklahoma Rights of Terminally Ill or Persistently Unconscious Act.
A legal professional who is skilled in estate planning can help a person with any of their power of attorney questions. No one wants to think about what would happen if they were no longer able to make health care decisions on their own, but this situation could happen to anyone. A car accident could cause critical injuries in seconds or a heart attack could leave a person brain dead. There are countless situations in which a durable power of attorney is important to have. Hopefully a person will never have to use a durable power of attorney, but having one legally designated can bring a person peace of mind.
Source: statelaws.findlaw.com, "Oklahoma durable power of attorney laws," accessed on July 25, 2017