Changes to Oklahoma Trusteeship Laws in November; this is how it might affect you

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Guardianship has been in the spotlight recently, mostly thanks to the Netflix movie I care a lot and the ongoing battle for the conservation of Britney Spears.

Guardianship may be necessary when a person is unable to make decisions for themselves. This is generally the case for the elderly, people with special needs or an accident victim. A designated tutor will be in place to help you.

“A family member or a friend, just a loved one, to come and help them get through this, whether it’s taking care of their finances, helping them make medical decisions, whatever they may be,” he said. said lawyer Sarah Stewart.

Unfortunately, the tutor can sometimes have ulterior motives and take advantage of the person they are supposed to help. This is why the Oklahoma legislature is making trusteeship laws stricter in our state.

“We have to prove that there is no other less restrictive alternative. That this is a last resort and should be specific to the needs of the person in your care, ”said Stewart. “What they also did, recently, which goes into effect in November, is that you have to share your guardianship plan with the whole family, which was not necessary before.”

Stewart said these changes will help protect vulnerable Oklahomans in the future.

“It really shows the courts that we want to make sure that we do as little as necessary, by vetting this person. That we give them as much space and capacity as possible to do their own things. So I think it’s going to be very useful for our trusteeship courts from now on. “

Stewart said a trusteeship was not the only option available to the Oklahomans. She recommends advance planning to help protect your family.

“So my position, and most lawyers you talk to will have the same, is that you should always plan ahead. If you have an enduring power of attorney in place, it decreases the chances that someone has to go to court and pay all that money and go through all of this heartache to try and help take care of you, ”said Stewart. “So the only time you have a power of attorney and you have to appeal to the guardianship is if, for some reason, there is a power that is not there and that you need to access or maybe that a named agent died and there was no secondary person named. So, with proper planning, you can really avoid needing guardianship in the first place. “

Stewart said advance planning could be helpful for people of all ages.

“I think it’s important to note that this type of pre-planning isn’t just for the elderly,” said Stewart. “I mean, any adult who may need help at some point with financial or health aspects, whether it’s your kid going to college or whether it’s a kid with special needs. I mean, I have these documents. It’s important to have it in place just in case something happens because you never know.

Stewart said if you go for a trusteeship, know that it can be terminated in time.

“So it’s still not the best process, but once they are physically able to take care of themselves or mentally, whatever it is, they can ask the court to dissolve the guardianship as long as they are they can prove by medical records or whatever. that they are doing better, that they can regain their capacity to take care of themselves and to take back control of themselves ”, a Stewart said, “So there’s a process for that. It takes time. It takes money. So it’s unfortunate, but they can go to court and have that withdrawn.”

Oklahoma’s trusteeship changes will take effect on November 1, 2021.


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