A Psychiatric Advance Directive allows a person of sound mind to inform mental health

providers about psychiatric treatment in the event the person is incapable of making or communicating these instructions.

The PAD can include instructions about psychiatric medications and hospitalization.

You may also appoint an “agent” to instruct mental health professionals on your behalf.

A PAD comes into effect once two mental health providers declare a person not competent to make treatment decisions.

A PAD can be superseded by an advance directive for healthcare or a durable power of attorney if there is a conflict.

Consult a lawyer to ensure all your wishes will be followed.

POWER OF ATTORNEY, DURABLE AND NON-DURABLE A power of attorney gives another person the authority to make decisions on your behalf.

Typically, a person names a trusted family member or friend as their POA.

There are two types of POA: durable and non-durable. Both allow the person the exact same authority while you – the creator – are well and of sound mind and body.

But when you are not well and are unable to make decisions for yourself, the durable power of attorney remains active, but the non-durable power of attorney becomes inactive.

The DPOA is an inexpensive alternative to a courtsupervised guardianship or conservatorship, which is necessary when a person becomes incapacitated without pre-planning.

While there is a uniform statutory form for a durable power of attorney, it is strongly advised to consult an attorney to draft a DPOA.

If a person doesn’t have a DPOA, and it is determined that the individual is incapacitated, the court will appoint a guardian – usually an adult child,

spouse, sibling or other relative of the individual (now known as the ward) or an attorney, public guardian or bank – to take care of the person or their property.

The court will tailor the powers of the guardian to the needs of the ward.

General guardianship gives the guardian almost complete power over the ward’s property and/or person.

Limited guardianship gives the guardian only the powers specified by the court, and the ward keeps power to manage the other areas.

Special guardianship is a temporary, limited guardianship during an emergency.

WILL A will is a legal document that communicates how a person wishes personal assets and property to be distributed after their death.

You must be age 18 or older and of sound mind to craft a will.

When a person dies without a valid will, their property is distributed through probate according to state laws, rather than a person’s wishes.

These laws only allow distribution of property to family, as strictly outlined by the law.

When you plan ahead and create a valid will, you may give your property to anyone you please after your death.

A will can be easily changed or revoked.

A will that is entirely handwritten, dated and signed in the creator’s own handwriting and contains no typed or printed portion is valid in Oklahoma.

It is highly recommended, however, that you have an attorney draft your will.

A copy should be filed with the probate division of your county courthouse.

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