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Oregon Power of Attorney “Form”

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Public law librarians frequently (sometimes it seems daily) get the question: Where can I find a Power of Attorney form (and preferably one online)?

Please don’t try to short circuit this important, critical, legal protection. Here’s a sample response to the question:

I don’t meant to sound lawyerly or librarian-ly(?), but it depends on what you mean by “standard form,” what kind of power is being granted, who the parties are, what state everyone lives in, etc.

This is serious business and I really, really discourage you from going Online, Finding a Form, Filling it Out (or In), and Thinking All Is Right With the World.

IT’S NOT.

This is not to say you can’t do a little, or a lot, of reading yourself about powers of attorney and on what to expect when talking to a lawyer about preparing a power of attorney. You can, but please, before thinking you can sleep peacefully at night since you signed that Power of Attorney, think again. You shouldn’t be able to sleep at night, unless you talk to a Real Attorney about that Power of Attorney.

Keep in mind also that filling out a Power of Attorney “form” may not be enough to protect your rights, or your family’s rights. For example, not every power of attorney or other delegation of legal authority needs to be recorded, but it is extremely smart to consult an attorney to find out if the document in your possession and if the specific parties involved need to take any action beyond signing and notarizing the form, deciding where to keep it and who should have copies of it.

If you don’t have an attorney you have already consulted about family legal matters (and if there is a power of attorney on the horizon, there well may be other legal issues to address), I recommend you start with the Oregon State Bar (OSB) website.

Consulting an attorney may be as simple as calling the Oregon State Bar’s (OSB) Referral and Information Service, at 503-684-3763, and asking them. They are able to refer you to a private attorney if it seems appropriate in your situation that you should consult one. You may also email your question to OSB from their home page.

They also have online information about Powers of Attorney. Type “powers of attorney” into the search box in the upper right hand corner of their website to link to their online brochure on Powers of Attorney and Other Decision Making Tools.

If you want more information about powers of attorney, many libraries and bookstores will have a copy of a self-help legal book called, Power of Attorney Handbook (Sphinx Press). This book is not Oregon-specific, but will give you important information about protecting your legal rights. It too will tell you, please consult an attorney!