Death will eventually happen to all of us. Hopefully, incapacity and the need for others to care for us won't occur, but if it does, it’s better to be prepared than not. A durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows another person to act on your behalf. You can create two different types of power of attorneys, a general or financial durable power of attorney and a health care decision-making one. This article is about creating the healthcare power of attorney.
A power of attorney for health care allows your designated “agent” or “attorney-in-fact” to make decisions about your medical care for you when you’re not able to make those decisions yourself, according to your doctor(s). These legal documents are often created as part of an advance health care directive with a living will that informs your health care providers of your wishes regarding life support, such as if you’re in a coma or become terminally ill.
The following table details the main parts of the durable power of attorney for healthcare laws in Nevada.
|Code Sections||Nevada Revised Statutes Sections 162A.700 to 162A.860: Durable Power of Attorney For Health Care Decisions|
|Specific Powers and Life-Prolonging Acts||Your designated healthcare agent has the power to make health care decisions before or after death for disabled principal including consent, refusal of consent, or withdrawal of consent to any care, treatment, service, or procedure to maintain, diagnose, or treat physical or mental condition except for:
|Legal Requirements for Durable Power of Attorney||To create a valid healthcare power of attorney in Nevada, it must be:
|When Does the Power of Attorney End?||The power of attorney can be terminated in different ways, including when the principal dies, revokes the power of attorney or the agent’s authority under it, the document had a termination date when drafted, or the agent dies or becomes incapacitated and there’s no alternate agent listed.
A former spouse is automatically revoked from being the health care agent upon divorce or annulment, unless the power of attorney says otherwise.
|Validity of Out-of-State Power of Attorneys||A power of attorney created in a different state is valid in Nevada if, when it was created, it complied with the laws of that state or military law.|
|Immunity for Health Care Providers||If a health care provider or facility in good faith accepts a power of attorney without knowing that the signature isn’t genuine or it’s been terminated or is otherwise invalid or voided, then the provider or facility aren’t subject to civil or criminal liability or unprofessional conduct discipline.|
If you’re ready to plan for your own worst case scenario, incapacity, it’s time to consider creating a durable power of attorney and living will. You can start with FindLaw’s power of attorney sample or Nevada’s statutory form to draft your own statutory form, or you can consult with an experienced Nevada estate planning lawyer. An attorney can draft all your end-of-life planning legal documents, including a living will, power of attorney, will, and/or trust, whatever you decide you need after getting thorough legal advice.
Note: State laws are revised all the time. Consult a lawyer or conduct your own legal research to verify these estate planning laws.
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