Executing the appropriate powers of attorney
The risk of mental decline increases as Nevada residents age. The possibility of suffering from dementia, ordinarily in the form of Alzheimer’s disease, means that some pre-planning is needed in order to ensure that an individual’s care will not be jeopardized. Powers of attorney and medical directives can provide individuals and their families with the peace of mind that a plan is in place should it be needed.
Several forms of financial and health care powers of attorney exist and can be executed based on the needs and desires of the individual. A limited power of attorney (POA) allows an agent to perform specific acts only for a limited amount of time. A general POA gives a trusted individual the right to handle any issue that would be handled by the individual, such as paying bills and selling property, among other things. A durable POA can be either general or limited and becomes effective when a person is incapacitated. Many people execute a springing POA, which mean that it only becomes effective when the individual meets a predefined definition of incapacitation, which often needs to be verified by a qualified physician.
Determining which POA will work best is up to the person executing it. Individuals are cautioned, however, not to rely on standardized forms since these forms may not meet their needs. Powers of attorney are not only used to give someone else the authority to act, but they are also designed to protect an incapacitated individual. Tailor-made forms can accomplish this goal more effectively.
Nevada residents may not want to contemplate a time when they are unable to make day-to-day decisions on their own. However, without powers of attorney in place, their family members will be required to go to court in order to make decisions for them regarding their health care and their finances. During that time, important decisions could be delayed while waiting for a court to act, often resulting in unintended consequences.
Source: financial-planning.com, “Powers of Attorney: Which Type Does Your Client Need?“, Katie Kuehner-Hebert, May 11, 2015