Powers Of Attorney: Who Needs Them And Why

The authority to make decisions on your own behalf is the very definition of autonomy. But while this power should never be given away carelessly, there are certainly times when it makes sense to designate decision-making authority to others. The legal mechanism for this is called power of attorney (POA).

In Nevada, the two basic types of POA are related to finances and health care. Moreover, in each of these areas, you can grant someone powers that are broad and general or narrow and specific.

Powers Of Attorney Related To Incapacity

Most of us associate POA status with aging and incapacity. A POA is also useful in other extraordinary life circumstances, such as when someone is at sea, unable to communicate and take care of business as usual. As part of the estate planning process, it is common to designate someone you trust to be your power of attorney if you ever lose the ability to make or communicate decisions on your own.

Durable financial power of attorney gives someone else the right to manage your assets on your behalf if you become unable to do so (usually due to factors such as dementia, coma or other debilitating conditions). This could include paying your bills, managing your investments, buying or selling property, and other day-to-day tasks.

Health care power of attorney allows someone to make decisions about your medical and end-of-life care if you cannot make or communicate such decisions on your own (for reasons of incapacity). When you create an advance health care directive, you designate power of attorney and prepare a living will. The living will states your medical care wishes such as when you would or would not agree to life-support measures. This document should guide the decisions made by your designated agent (with POA). It may help prevent disputes between family members or between your decision-maker and medical personnel.

Power Of Attorney For Business Matters

Even if you are healthy and sharp-minded, granting power of attorney can be convenient for business or strategic purposes. If you live in Nevada, but conduct transactions nationally or internationally, you may grant POA to someone who can represent you in local business dealings.

For instance, let's say that you just purchased property in New York, but cannot attend the closing in person. You might hire a New York lawyer to act on your behalf and grant him or her power of attorney. The other party doesn't need to be a lawyer. It could be a spouse, another family member, or a trusted friend.

Any power of attorney designation, no matter how long-lasting, can be highly specific (limited to one purpose or action) or more general. Our firm can help you decide how to allocate these powers and draw up the paperwork needed to formalize the agreement.

Get Answers To Your Power Of Attorney Questions

If you need legal advice and representation in Las Vegas or surrounding areas such as in Henderson or Clark County, contact Avalon Law Group. We offer services in English, Spanish, Russian and Farsi. Our skilled attorneys are ready to help you with issues related to power of attorney or any other estate law matter. To schedule an initial consultation, call us at 702-522-6450 or send us an email. Se habla español.