When people think about estate planning in Nevada, their main focus is often distribution of property or the care of their dependent family members in the event of their death. However, estate planning can also address many other concerns, including someone’s eligibility for government benefits when they age and the protection they might need in their golden years if they have medical issues.
Additionally, living documents have authority in a medical emergency but not after someone dies. Powers of attorney designations are legal resources that allow an individual to transfer certain authority to another person so that they can act as their agent or attorney-in-fact in the event that they have been injured or fallen ill to a degree that they are effectively incapacitated. Powers of attorney do not take effect until someone becomes incapacitated and is unable to lawfully advocate for themselves. Those who are preparing for retirement in Nevada often benefit from adding a durable power of attorney to their other estate planning documents.
What is a durable power of attorney?
Many powers of attorney are durable because of the language that the lawyers drafting them include, but not all powers of attorney are automatically durable documents. A durable power of attorney retains its legal authority even when someone experiences permanent incapacitation as opposed to a short-term medical issue.
The benefits of a durable power of attorney are hard to ignore. These documents effectively allow individuals to name someone that they trust to handle their affairs in an emergency, rather than leaving themselves at the mercy of anyone who might request guardianship when their health starts to decline later.
Putting together documents so that a trustworthy individual can assist when an adult can’t care for themselves is an important protection. The agent someone chooses can manage personal resources, handle healthcare matters and cover household expenses. Addressing these possible needs is a practical choice for those preparing for their golden years.
Those who think ahead to a future emergency or incapacitating medical condition can put protections in place for themselves and their closest loved ones. Those who add very specific, details instructions to their powers of attorney limit the authority they transfer to someone else and ensure that their agent or attorney in fact will understand the obligations of their role.
Adding powers of attorney to an estate plan is one of several ways for individuals to protect themselves throughout adulthood and retirement with the assistance of an experienced legal professional.