Legal Services under the Older Americans Act
The Legal Services Developer of Community Living, Aging, and Protective Services provides statewide leadership to enhance the quality and quantity of legal services to individuals 60 years of age or older in Oklahoma. The Legal Services Developer offers consultation, technical assistance, information and referral, and training on legal issues to older Oklahomans and those who assist and advocate for them.
End-of-life Healthcare Issues (Advance Directives, Durable Powers of Attorney, DNR’s)
Property and Estate Issues (Wills, Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney, Joint Tenancy, POD’s, TOD’s)
Grandparents’ Raising Grandchildren
Legal services, under Title III-B of the Older Americans Act (OAA), are provided through grants to the states authorized by the OAA. Aging Services distributes and oversees grant money for the services. Legal assistance protects older persons against challenges to their independence, choice, and financial security.
Aging Services contracts with 11 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) in Oklahoma to provide free legal services to older residents 60 years and older.
Area Agencies on Aging
In Oklahoma, legal services are provided to the AAAs through Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.
These legal services are specifically targeted to “older individuals with economic or social needs.”
Legal assistance to older Oklahomans includes Advanced Directives, Powers of Attorneys, wills, debt, Social Security disability, eviction, consumer financial issues, estate planning, and grandparent issues, to name a few.
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma- 60+ Seniors
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma- OK-SPLASH Senior Helpline
Legal Services Developer
Phone: (405) 208-2048
P. O. Box 53159
Oklahoma City, OK 73152
- AARP- Planning for Long-Term Care, Your Resource Guide
- Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma - Grandparents Visitation
- National Center on Elder Abuse Mistreatment of Latinx Older Adult
- National Center on Law and Elder Rights -Elder Abuse Guide
- Oklahoma Caregiver Coalition
- Oklahoma Human Services – Starting Points for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children
Forms are provided to assist in end of life planning. Consulting an attorney is the best way to ensure that a person’s end of life needs are being met; however, individuals 60 years old and older may contact the Legal Service Developer with questions.
- Advanced Directive for Health Care (English)
- Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form
- Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Guide
- Durable Power of Attorney (Medical only)
- Please note that statutory authority for medical Durable Powers of Attorney has been repealed effective November 1, 2021. Medical DPOAs completed with signature dates before November 1, 2021 remain valid; however, documents signed after November 1, 2021, including modifications of existing forms, will no longer be supported by statutory authority.
Yes, at a minimum, everyone over the age 18 needs an Advance Directive for Healthcare. The famous cases of Terri Schiavo and Nancy Cruzan both involved accidents when the women were young - under 30 years of age.
The anatomical gifts provision allows for more details about the wishes of a person than the driver license designation.
No. The Advance Directive for Healthcare only needs two witnesses who observe the person signing the document. The witnesses cannot inherit from nor be related to the person signing the Advance Directive for Healthcare.
Only the person, a guardian, an agent under a Durable Power of Attorney or Health Care Proxy can sign the DNR form. However, a physician can certify that he or she knows by clear and convincing evidence that a person would not want to be resuscitated or that CPR would not prevent the imminent death of the person.
Under Oklahoma law, if a person does not have a proxy, an agent or a guardian, and certain medical decisions need to be made, healthcare professionals will look to other persons identified in law to make the decision. The list of those authorized to make decisions starts with a hierarchy of specific family members.
No. A Durable Power of Attorney for Property addresses the authority an agent has regarding property, such as homes, land, bank accounts, credit cards, Certificates of Deposits, mineral interests, etc., usually if a person becomes incapacitated. DHS does not provide a form for that since it is a complex area of law.
No. A Durable Power of Attorney allows a trusted, designated person to exercise the rights that are provided in the document. That authority can be implemented immediately or upon incapacity. Even if the authority is immediate, the person does not lose any rights to control healthcare or property interests.
Any property that is passed by will or subject to intestacy laws must be probated. When a person has made no provisions for distribution of property after death, intestacy laws provide that the state will determine who will inherit the property.
Property not subject to probate includes property with beneficiary designations (e.g. POD's or TOD's, beneficiary deeds, insurance, retirement accounts, certain annuities), property held in joint tenancy or property that is held in a trust.
The law presumes that parents know what is best for their children, including whom the children see. Therefore, grandparents do not have a right to visit their grandchildren. Grandparents may be permitted by the court to visitation under certain circumstances.