A 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.
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.
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.
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.