person in hospital bed needing a medical power of attorneyIn the event you become unable to make decisions about your own medical care, due to illness, injury, advanced age or some other reason, having the right legal documents in place can be a lifesaver. Simply writing down your wishes ahead of time may not be enough because you cannot anticipate every situation. You also need to select someone you trust to manage your care, instead of relying on a doctor, estranged relative, or even a judge, none of whom are likely to be aware of your preferences. Consider a medical power of attorney.

No. 1 – There are three health care documents you need in Nevada

In order to accomplish a comprehensive medical power of attorney in Nevada, you need three different types of health care documents: the durable power of attorney for health care, a living will, and a HIPAA authorization form.  The durable power of attorney for health care allows you to select someone you trust to manage your health care when you are unable to do so, based upon predetermined statements of your desires.  That person you appoint is your “agent” for all medical decisions that need to be made during your incapacity.  The second document, the living will, allows you to specify in writing the type of medical treatment you agree to receive (or not receive) in certain situations.  This can include “do-not-resuscitate” orders and other living saving procedures.  The HIPAA authorization form allows you to identify all people that you wish to receive your medical information that would otherwise be protected under HIPAA laws and regulations.

No. 2 – There are certain people who cannot be your agent

The person you select to make your health care decisions is called your agent. It is common for people to name a spouse, partner, relative, or close friend as an agent. However, in Nevada your agent may not be:

These restrictions do not apply to your spouse, legal guardian, or next of kin, however.  So if your spouse happens to be employed at a health care facility, the restriction would not apply.

No. 3 – A living will is different from a typical will

Despite the name, a living will is nothing like a conventional will (also commonly referred to as your "last will and testament").  It does not address the disposition of your property or assets upon your death; it only provides instructions regarding your health care preferences.  It can be as general or specific as you want it to be, as long as it provides sufficient information to health care providers about your preferences.  Generally, most living wills will be a directive to your physical to cease or not provide life-prolonging or life-sustaining treatment if the patient has a permanent, terminal, and irreversible condition that will cause the patient's death within a relatively short period of time.  This can avoid the family arguing over whether you would have wanted them to "pull-the-plug" or not.

No. 4 – Restrictions on who can create a medical power of attorney

In order to create a legally valid power of attorney or living will, you must be considered “legally competent.”  In this context, competency refers to mental capacity, age and maturity.  In order to enter a legally binding agreement, you must have reached the age of majority established for your state.  In Nevada, the age of majority is eighteen (18).  This requirement is based on the presumption that individuals who are still immature are too inexperienced to understand or properly execute a contract or legal document.

No. 5 - A medical power of attorney can take effect when you become incapacitated

A power of attorney for health care is typically drafted so that it goes into effect once a physician has determined you are incapacitated and unable to make your own health care decisions.  Lacking capacity generally means that either you can no longer understand the nature and consequences of the health care choices that are available to you, and/or you are unable to communicate your own wishes for care, either orally, in writing, or through gestures.  In other words, if you are so ill or injured that you cannot express your health care wishes, your power of attorney or living will spring into effect immediately.  If, however, there is some question about your ability to understand your treatment choices and communicate clearly, your doctor (with the input of your health care agent or close relatives) will decide whether it is time for your health care documents to become operative.

No. 6 – A power of attorney for health care can become effective immediately

In Nevada, you can authorize your health care agent to take over your medical care immediately upon execution of the document, which is preferable since accidents can never be foreseen. In the event of something happening, there will be no need for a physician to determine whether you are incapacitated or not.  Instead, you agent will have the ability to step in and make decisions on your behalf at any time.  As long as you are competent, you will still be able to dictate your own medical care.  Regardless of when the document goes into effect, your health care agent is always required to act in your best interests and follow your health care wishes as you have expressed them.

Reno Power of Attorney

If you have questions regarding a medical power of attorney, or any other elder law issues, please contact Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd., either online or by calling us at (775) 823-9455. If you are in the Reno, NV area, be sure to schedule an appointment to speak with us about a Reno power of attorney for your medical needs!

durable power of attorney in renoOne of the most important estate planning tools in Reno, Nevada is the durable power of attorney.  This tool makes it possible for you to choose someone you trust to handle your affairs in the event you become incapable of doing it yourself.  The “principal” is the person who signs and executes the power of attorney.  The person designated to act on behalf of the principal is known as the “agent” or the “attorney-in-fact.”  A durable power of attorney is a specific type of power of attorney that remains in effect even after you become incapacitated.  This is why a durable power of attorney in Reno is such a powerful tool.

Advantages of a Durable Power of Attorney in Reno

You choose your agent.

One important advantage of a durable power of attorney is that you are able to decide now who you want to make decisions for you in the future.  If you don’t make that decision now, a court will appoint a guardian or conservator to decide for you if you become incapacitated.  Executing a durable power of attorney means that you get to choose someone you trust, and that person will be allowed to step right into your shoes without the need for a lengthy and expensive court proceeding.  Your agent, depending on the type of power of attorney you execute, can start making decisions regarding your finances or healthcare as soon as it is required.   The court process to appoint a guardian or conservator is a very expensive and time-consuming process.  This is especially true since the court continues to monitor a guardian or conservator as long as the appointment remains in effect.

Discuss your wishes with your agent ahead of time.

Executing a durable power of attorney now gives you the opportunity to discuss your desires and expectations with your family and the agent you choose.  You can do that now while you are still in a position to do so.  Also, the more comprehensive your durable power of attorney is, the better it will be for your chosen agent when the time comes to take over your affairs.  It is also important to consider how your needs may change as you age.  Those issues should be addressed when your durable power of attorney is drafted.  For example, you should consider the possibility that you may need long-term care and/or government benefits.  Those needs can be addressed in the terms of the durable power of attorney when it is drafted.

Do away with the family disagreements and conflict.

Another great benefit of creating a durable power of attorney in Reno is that it will likely reduce the confusion and uncertainty as to how you would have wanted your affairs to be handled.  A well-drafted power of attorney can eliminate the disagreements between family members regarding your financial needs. A proper power of attorney for healthcare will allow someone to take care of your medical needs.  Instead of family conflict, this legal document will be the best evidence there is of your intent.  A durable power of attorney can be an invaluable tool during an already stressful time.  There will be one less thing for your family to worry about.

Trust vs Power of AttorneyLiving Trust vs Power of Attorney?  The answer may surprise you.  In order to create a comprehensive estate plan, you actually need both.  Estate planning is much more than simply transferring your assets to your loved ones when you die.  Although both a living trust and a power of attorney essentially provide the same benefit, a way to manage your affairs when you are incapacitated, most comprehensive estate plans include both.

The living trust grants powers over the trust property

A living trust controls not only the management of your assets if you ever become incapacitated, but it also addresses the distribution of your assets after your death.  With a living trust, you must re-title your assets to your living trust in order for it to become effective.  The living trust is meant to give your agent, referred to as the “trustee,” the authority necessary to manage all of the assets you place in the trust. What a living trust does not do, is give your trustee authority over any of your assets that are not included in your living trust.
What happens when your trustee realizes, after your incapacity, that you failed to transfer some of your assets to your living trust.  Not to mention all of the assets that were intentionally left out, such as retirement accounts, annuities, and Social Security benefits.  How will your agent manage any of these assets for you, upon your incapacity?  The living trust does not give your trustee the power to manage assets not titled in the name of, or assigned the trust.  This is where the durable power of attorney becomes necessary.

The durable power of attorney gives authority over non-trust assets

If you also include a Durable Power of Attorney in your estate plan, your agent will have the authority to manage the remaining assets, including those you unintentionally left out of your trust, as well as your annuities, retirement accounts and social security funds. You can also control the extent of your agent’s powers over your assets.
A general power of attorney gives broad power to the agent relating to certain categories of decisions, such as legal, financial or business decisions. A limited power of attorney can be created for the specific purpose of allowing someone to make decisions for you, only as to a particular activity, such as selling your real property when you are away, or making investment decisions in the event you cannot. Another example would be creating a power of attorney to allow a business partner to use specific assets for the benefit of your business if you become incapacitated.  If you own rental property, for instance, your agent can be given the authority to handle all aspects of managing that property. Health care or medical powers of attorney allow another person to make medical decisions in the event of your incapacity - also a limited power of attorney.

Living Trust vs Power of Attorney: Use Both

Comprehensive estate planning should include both a Living Trust and a Power of Attorney.  Your agent should be aware of the relationship between these two documents in order to know which document should be presented when attempting to manage your affairs in the event of your incapacity.
If you have questions regarding trusts or powers of attorney, or any other estate planning needs, please contact Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd., either online or by calling us at (775) 823-9455.

Advanced Directives in Nevada from Brad Anderson

Under Nevada law, you have the right to make decisions regarding the use of life-sustaining treatment, as long as you are competent to do so.
Learn more about advanced directives in Nevada in this presentation.

power of attorney in renoAs many people have realized, even a properly prepared and executed power of attorney can be rejected or question by a third party, such as a bank or insurance company.  Those entities may demand proof that the power of attorney is still valid or may reject it as “stale” because it was executed too long ago.

Power of Attorney Abuse

There was a time when these legal documents were rarely challenged.  They were rarely exploited, as well.  Unfortunately, the number of cases of adult children outright stealing from their parents, through the power of attorney, has increased over the years, prompting lawmakers to focus more on power of attorney abuse.
Power of attorney abuse gained national attention in 2007 when the son of philanthropist, Brooke Astor, was indicted for attempting to “unjustly enrich” himself,  by using her power of attorney.  He was ultimately convicted in 2009 for, among other things, grand larceny, after stealing more than $1 million from his mother.

Banks’ response to abuse

Banks and other financial companies began taking their own precautions by imposing tough requirements for acknowledging powers of attorney.  For instance, banks routinely reject powers of attorney that were signed more than 6 months ago and powers of attorney from out of state.  These higher standards make it tough for the well-meaning adult children to care for their parents’ affairs when necessary.
It may seem easier to just meet the bank’s requirements, rather than battle with them for acceptance.  However, in some situations, the requirements imposed by the banks are burdensome or nearly impossible to meet.  So, how do we strike a balance?

Lawmakers and Regulators take action

Most states have enacted statutes governing powers of attorney, but not all actually require banks and other entities to honor a power of attorney.  Lawmakers and regulators began voicing their concerns with the inconsistency of these state laws.  As a result, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws approved the Uniform Power of Attorney Act in 2006.  Only nine states have adopted this uniform law, including Nevada.

The Uniform Power of Attorney Act

The Uniform Power of Attorney Act was created in an attempt to bring uniformity to power of attorney, which have rapidly become a significant estate planning tool.  Nevada adopted the Uniform Power of Attorney Act in 2009.
One of the provisions of the act addresses “Liability for Refusal to Accept Acknowledged Power of Attorney.” Under this provision, a third party must either accept an acknowledged power of attorney or request a certification, translation, or an opinion of counsel within seven business days of presentment.  Once requested, the third party must accept the power of attorney within five business days of receiving the requested document.  Also significant is the provision that a third party cannot require an additional or different form of power of attorney, which banks had begun to do routinely.

Power of Attorney in Reno Legal Help and Guidance

If you have questions regarding a power of attorney in Reno, or any other estate planning needs, please contact Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. either online or by calling us at (775) 823-9455.

An agent is someone who is designated to manage the affairs of someone else.  In a power of attorney, their authority usually extends to the management of finances or health care decisions.  The person who creates the power of attorney and designates the agent is known as the “principal.”
Once an agent accepts the authority given to him or her under the power of attorney, a legally binding relationship is created between the agent and the principal.  With that relationship and authority comes certain legal duties that must be adhered to.  The role of an agent is entirely voluntary, but once an agent agrees to take on that role, the agent has agreed to the responsibilities that come with it.
What is an agent’s responsibility to the principal?
Being an agent under the authority of a power of attorney is a serious function and cannot be taken lightly.  An agent is expected to act in good faith and with competence, care and diligence. An agent must avoid any conflicts that would prevent him or her from acting in the principal’s best interests.
An agent’s actions are governed by the authority granted in the power of attorney document, and based on the preferences of the principal.  It is improper to override the desires of the principal in favor of the agent’s own preferences.
An agent is required to keep his or her own money and property separate and distinct from the property of the principal.  Whenever an agent conducts financial transactions on behalf of the principal, the agent must use only the principal’s funds for the principal’s benefit.  The agent is also expected to keep good records of all transactions, including receipts.  An agent is required by law to provide an accounting to the principal whenever requested.
Differences between a general and limited power of attorney
Depending on the type of power of attorney, an agent’s authority may be limited.  A general power of attorney provides very broad authority.  For example, an agent may be given general authority to handle all financial matters or all health care decisions.  A general power of attorney is commonly used to give an agent full authority to handle important decisions regarding the finances, real property, personal property and accounts of the principal. It can be valid immediately upon the execution of the document or the principal may specify that it is valid only in the event that the principal becomes incapacitated.
Whereas, a limited power of attorney normally provides more precise instructions for the agent or contains limitations on the scope of authority.  If it is limited to a single transaction such as the sale of a piece of real property, once those duties have been completed or the goals accomplished, the powers are automatically revoked. A limited power of attorney may be put in place for a particular bank account  and no other asset, so as long as the account is in place and the power of attorney has not been revoked, the agent may have access to that account.
Can an agent resign or be replaced?
Sometimes the power of attorney will describe how the agent can resign.  If not, the agent may resign by simply giving notice to the principal.  If the principal is incapacitated, the agent must give notice to the guardian or conservator (if one has been appointed). If there is a co-agent or successor agent, then notice would be given to that person, as well. A principal may remove an agent by giving notice to the agent in the same manner.
In the event none of those situations apply, an agent can resign by giving notice to the principal’s caregiver, to another person with sufficient interest in the welfare of the principal, or to a governmental agency with the authority to protect the principal. It is necessary for the principal, when an agent has resigned or has been removed, to notify any person or institution that has dealt with the agent. If a power of attorney has been recorded, it is necessary to record the revocation of the power, as well.
Powers of attorney can be highly technical documents and should be prepared by a qualified law firm to be certain of its legality. Many times a limited power of attorney is available from the institution requiring it such as as banks or title companies.

power of attorney in renoA power of attorney is a legal document giving an agent the authority to act on someone else’s behalf.  In Reno, Nevada, the person creating the power of attorney is known as the “principal,” and that person chooses a person who may act on their behalf called the "agent."  A power of attorney is frequently used to bestow power and authority to the agent to handle the principal's financial and/or medical decisions.
Even though a power of attorney in Reno can be very useful, as with most things, there are some disadvantages that should be considered before giving someone authority to act on your behalf.  Since your agent will be given full legal authority to act on your behalf, it is critical that you choose someone trustworthy and whom you believe will act only in your best interests.

Disadvantages of a Power of Attorney in Reno

An agent is not subject to direct oversight

An agent is required to follow your directions whenever taking actions on your behalf.  However, she could make mistakes or, even worse, use her authority fraudulently.  Because the agent makes decisions and takes actions on your behalf, while you are not present, you will not have immediate control over the actions taken.
For instance, your agent may have the authority to withdraw money from all of your bank accounts.  Although you asked her to withdraw only a certain amount from one of them, she may mistakenly take money from the wrong account.  What’s worse, she may take money from your bank account entirely without permission.  While the agent may be liable to you, the bank, unfortunately, cannot be held responsible, as long as the power of attorney is valid. Also, you should understand that almost all powers of attorney are "durable," meaning they are valid even if the principal later becomes incapacitated. Challenging the agent's actions in that case becomes even more complicated.

Entities may not recognize your agent’s authority

Even though a power of attorney is a legally binding document, and under Nevada law institutions are required to accept a valid power of attorney, some entities such as banks or mortgage companies, may require additional internal procedures before they will recognize the authority of your agent.  If your power of attorney does not meet the bank’s internal policies, your agent will have trouble accessing your accounts at that particular institution. You may avoid some hassles by using the bank's own power of attorney form, if the bank has one.

You must provide notice of revocation to all third-parties

It is not difficult, generally speaking, to revoke a power of attorney.  Though the rules of revocation are different from one state to another, it is generally required to be in writing and all third parties with whom the power of attorney has been used, must be notified.  If the power of attorney was used in the transfer of real estate, it was likely recorded; therefore, the revocation must also be recorded. This is a very important step.  If an institution does not receive proper notice, your agent could continue to act for you without your authority and the institution would not be the wiser.  In that situation, if notice was not provided, the institution would not be liable for any financial loss resulting from your agent’s unauthorized acts.
If you have questions or concerns regarding creating a power of attorney in Reno, and whether there are alternatives that are better suited for your needs, contact your Reno estate planning attorney for assistance.

power of attorney in reno nevadaA power of attorney(POA) is a legal document that gives someone you have chosen the authority to act on your behalf.  In Reno, Nevada, the person who creates the power of attorney is called the “principal.”  The person you choose to act on your behalf is called the “agent,” or the "attorney-in-fact."  Two types of powers of attorney in Reno are most commonly used. One to handle medical needs and the other to manage financial needs. For example, you could create a power of attorney to give someone the authority to pay bills or manage your bank accounts.  The authority can become effective immediately, or only when a specific event occurs, such as incapacity.

In order to be sure that this legal document is valid and to ensure that your agent possesses the power he or she needs to perform tasks on your behalf, certain requirements must be met. In Nevada, the requirements are governed by state statute.  Generally, the law in Nevada requires as follows:

A power of attorney must be signed by the principal or, in the principal’s conscious presence, by another individual directed by the principal to sign the principal’s name on the power of attorney. A signature on a power of attorney is presumed to be genuine if the principal acknowledges the signature before a notary public or other individual authorized by law to take acknowledgments.

There are some specific requirements based on different circumstances.

Special Limitations Relating to Healthcare Facilities

For example, if the principal is residing in a hospital, nursing or a similar healthcare facility, at the time he or she executes the power of attorney, a certification of competency is required from a physician, psychologist or psychiatrist.  That certification must be attached to the power of attorney.
Also, if the principal either resides in, or is about to reside in such a facility, no one associated with that facility (i.e., owner, operator, employee) can be named as an agent. The only exception is if one of those people is a spouse, legal guardian or next of kin of the principal.

Does My Signature Need to Be Notarized or Witnessed?

In Nevada, a power of attorney for health care must be signed by the principal and either acknowledged before a notary public or witnessed by two adult witnesses who personally know the principal.  The witnesses cannot be a healthcare provider, an employee of the healthcare provider, or an operator or employee of the healthcare facility.  The agent named in the power of attorney cannot be a witness either.  At least one of the witnesses must be unrelated to the principal by blood, marriage or adoption and not entitled to any part of the principal’s estate upon his or her death.

Reno Power of Attorney

Although there are various do-it-yourself power of attorney forms available on the internet, one-size doesn’t fit all when it comes to estate planning instruments. It is best to consult with an attorney to make sure that your specific needs will be met by the document.  If you need assistance with drafting a power of attorney in Reno, contact the Anderson, Dorn & Rader office and we will be happy to help.

power of attorney in reno nevadaThere are different types of powers of attorney.  They each have their own purpose and transfer varying levels of authority to the agent.  A “durable” power of attorney stays in effect even after you have become incapacitated.  Any other type of power of attorney will terminate automatically if you lose your mental capacity. Common examples of durable powers of attorney are ones that relate to financial or medical affairs.
According to the statutory law in Nevada, an “agent” (sometimes referred to as an "attorney-in-fact") is the “person granted authority to act for a principal under a power of attorney.”  Depending on the type of power of attorney you are executing, there are some limitations on who can act as your agent.

Financial Power of Attorney in Reno Nevada

For example, if the principal either resides or is about to reside in a hospital, assisted living facility or facility for skilled nursing, there are several categories of individuals that can NOT be designated as an agent.  Those include the principal’s health care provider, an employee of the health care provider, the operator or employee of the health care facility.  The only exception is if any of those individuals are the spouse, legal guardian or next of kin of the principal.
There are other specific situations that must be considered, especially when the principal is residing in a healthcare facility of some kind.  You should consult a Reno Nevada estate planning attorney for assistance in choosing your agent for a power of attorney.

What questions should I consider when choosing an agent?

Since your agent will be given the legal authority to act on your behalf, it is crucial that you choose someone trustworthy and whom you believe will act only in your best interests.  Consider whether you trust that person with your important financial or legal affairs.
Is that person responsible when it comes to their own finances?  Consider how they manage their own affairs.  You may choose a lawyer or accountant, but remember they will normally charge a fee, whereas family members usually perform the service for free.  No matter who you choose, discuss that decision with them and make sure they agree to serve as your agent before you officially appoint them.
Remember, if a conflict of interest ever arises or you become worried about the agent’s trustworthiness, you can always terminate the agent’s authority by revoking the power of attorney and creating a new one.

Can I appoint more than one agent?

You are allowed to appoint co-agents who will serve together as equals, as well as successive agents, in case the first agent is unable to continue the task.  Keep in mind, however, if you appoint co-agents, confusion or conflict may arise if there are disagreements about the best approach for your financial assets. This situation would no doubt cause delays and disrupt the handling of your finances. With a health care power of attorney, it is never advisable and in some states it is prohibited to name co-agents. The reasons are obvious. For example, your health care provider may be able to reach only one of the agents in the event of an emergency, you may be suffering internal bleeding or another medical event that requires immediate attention, or the agents might not agree about what is best.  Forcing the health care provider to find two people may exacerbate an already urgent situation.  It is wise to discuss the potential advantages and disadvantages of this choice with a Nevada Estate Planning Attorney as part of your overall estate planning.

Planning for the future sometimes involves considering uncomfortable topics such as mental or physical incapacity.  To prepare for this eventuality you will need to select an individual who can handle your financial and medical affairs.  If you have established a revocable living trust your successor trustee would be in a position to manage your assets in trust.  A durable power of attorney would authorize the agent that you select to manage your assets that you own that are not in trust.  The health care power of attorney is used to appoint an agent to make medical decisions in the event of your incapacity.   The individual that you may want to see managing your financial affairs may not be the same person who you would like to make medical decisions in your behalf.
One thing to remember is the need to provide your health care agent with the authority to access your medical records. The medical community may not release medical information to anyone without your consent.  This is accomplished by including a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) release when you are executing your estate planning documents.  To learn more about planning ahead for the possibility of incapacity get in touch with us for a free consultation. You can contact us by clicking this link: Reno Incapacity Planning Consultation

Many people know what a power of attorney is and why one might be needed. Or at least they think they do. Because of this, some may think that downloading a simple fill in the blank form found on the Internet will suffice. As with many “do-it-yourself” legal forms, the dangers of using one without first seeking legal advice can be many.
A property power of attorney, or POA, is a very serious and powerful legal document. Giving someone a POA may authorize the individual to handle your legal affairs. Most POAs that are found on the Internet are boilerplate documents that give the agent (person to whom you are giving authority) broad control over your affairs. This means the agent may be authorized to buy, sell, trade, convey or gift away your assets. He or she may be able to sign checks, withdraw money, transfer money or make important legal decisions on your behalf. Worse yet, some may not understand that a property POA will NOT include the power to make medical decisions on your behalf.
While the basic purpose of a POA may be easy enough to understand, many may not realize that there are different types of POAs used for different purposes. Furthermore, the language used in a POA will determine how much power or authority you grant the agent and which will determine how long the power will be granted. Talk to a qualified estate planning attorney about what your goals are and how to best accomplish them through a power of attorney.

A power of attorney, or POA, can be a helpful estate planning tool if used properly.  Understanding what the purpose of a POA is, as well as the limitations, will be important for you and your designated agent.  Following are some POA basics that can help with this discussion with your agent.
POAs are governed by state laws as are many other estate planning issues.  Do not confuse a property POA with a living will, healthcare power of attorney or advanced directive. Although these estate planning tools are similar in nature to a property POA, they are created for the express purpose of giving your agent or healthcare provider the authority to make healthcare decisions for you in the event you cannot do so.
A POA can be designed to terminate upon your incapacity.  If you want your agent to have authority that survives your incapacity, you must create a durable POA.  Most states have very specific guidelines for what creates a durable POA.  A springing POA authorizes your agent to act in your behalf only upon your incapacity.  Specific language will need to be carefully included.  You can grant broad powers to your agent under your POA.  A qualified estate planning attorney can assist you in considering all the variations available to you before executing a POA.

Those who have begun to take the process of estate planning seriously will invariably find themselves considering the period of time that will precede the actual trigger event. When you engage the services of an estate planning attorney to handle the legalities surrounding the transfer of your assets after you pass away you may want to consider creating a comprehensive plan that also addresses some of the eventualities that you may face toward the end of your life. As unpleasant as it may be for some people to consider, incapacity is one of these contingencies and if you ignore it you do so at your peril.
To evaluate just how likely it is that you may suffer a period of incapacity when you enter your twilight years you need only look at the statistics. According to studies compiled by the Alzheimer's Association, as many as one out of every eight Americans who reach the age of 65 suffer from dementia, most often Alzheimer's Disease. But as you get older, the likelihood of contracting Alzheimer's increases. Some studies indicate that 40% of those who have reached the age of 85, have Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's eventually brings dementia along with it, and dementia can inhibit your ability to make sound financial and health care decisions.
This is why it is a good idea to have the appropriate durable powers of attorney in place as a part of your retirement/estate plan. The "durable" power allows the instrument to remain in place should the grantor become incapacitated. Most people will execute both a durable financial power of attorney and a durable medical power of attorney and may name two different attorneys-in-fact, or agents, whose experience or expertise is appropriate for each respective area.
If you don't have the appropriate powers of attorney in place and you were to become incapacitated, interested parties may have to petition the court to appoint a guardian to act in your behalf and you would become a ward of a person you may not have preferred or even a ward of the state. Providing for this in advance will allow a person to choose their own representatives in advance. This is a vital matter that ought to be part of your planning when you are preparing for the latter stages of your life.

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a document that allows you to give authority to someone you trust to act on your behalf. This document is frequently seen in real estate dealings and brokerage accounts, but they also play a big part in your estate plan.

The Importance of a POA

If you were to become disabled, you’d want to have someone who could speak on your behalf with regard to medical treatments and someone who could take over your financial affairs. A Healthcare POA can handle the medical issues and a Property POA can see to it that your finances are in order.

A Power of Attorney only works for you if it's “durable." A durable POA means that these documents are not automatically revoked in the event you become mentally disabled.

To make a POA durable, you have to properly state that intention in the document itself. The statutes in Nevada recommend the language that should go into the document.

Reno Power of Attorney

To learn more about a Powers of Attorney or you need help setting one up, get in touch with the experts at Anderson, Dorn & Rader.

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