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Law

OK House Bill 2548

Notary Law Update: OK House Bill 2548

State: Oklahoma

Summary:
House Bill 2548 enacts the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA). If a power of attorney is presented for notarization, a Notary will need to know that a signer may sign the power of attorney or may direct another person to sign it for him or her. The Act doesn’t require a power of attorney to be notarized, but a court will presume the signature to be genuine if it is acknowledged before a Notary or an officer authorized to take acknowledgments.

Signed:  April 28, 2021

Effective:  November 01, 2021

Chapter: 332

Affects:
Adds as yet uncodified Sections 3001 through 3045 in Title 58 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

Changes:
  1. Requires a power of attorney to be signed by the principal or in the principal’s conscious presence by another individual directed by the principal to sign the principal.
  2. Provides that a power of attorney is presumed to be genuine if the principal acknowledges the signature before a Notary or other officer authorized by law to take acknowledgments and defines the term “acknowledged” to mean “purportedly verified before a notary public or other individual authorized to take acknowledgments.”
  3. Permits a power of attorney to be electronically signed (and, impliedly, electronically notarized).
  4. Exempts from the scope of the Act: (a) power to the extent it is coupled with an interest in the subject of the power, including a power given to or for the benefit of a creditor in connection with a credit transaction, (b) a power of attorney for health care decisions, (c) a proxy or other delegation to exercise voting rights or management of rights with respect to an entity, and (d) a power created on a form prescribed by a government or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality for a governmental purpose.
  5. Provides a statutory power of attorney form.
Analysis:

Oklahoma adopts the Uniform Power of Attorney Act published by the Uniform Law Commission. The Act does not require a power of attorney to be acknowledged before a Notary Public, but grants a presumption of genuineness to any power of attorney that is. In line with other states that have adopted the Act, the Act allows a power of attorney to be electronically signed, and by inference, electronically notarized. Notaries should take note that the Act also permits a power of attorney to be signed by another person in the principal’s conscious presence if the person is directed to sign by the principal; it does not mention whether this proxy signer may or may not be the person (agent) granted powers of attorney.

Read the bill text.

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