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Estate planning reduces stress for Nevada families

There are so many decisions to be made in day-to-day living that many people shift planning for the future to the back burner. This is especially true when it comes to less-enticing discussions, such as those related to future health care decisions. Taking the time to make such decisions now can reduce stress and grief for Nevada families in the future.

Some things individuals should consider regarding the future include a power of attorney designation, medical information releases and living wills. These documents provide protection for an individual in the event of decreased mental capacity or complete incapacity due to disease or aging. Contemplating giving up control of major life decisions can be difficult but making the decisions now lets you keep some level of control.

For one woman, the battle to take over her aunt's care lasted half a year. It also cost $15,000 to become the 99-year-old woman's legal guardian. In that case, the elderly aunt had not made previous decisions about end-of-life care or health care powers of attorney, which allowed the case to be drawn out and difficult.

Consider documents that define who will have power of attorney over your finances or health care decisions should you be incapacitated. Ensure proper medical releases are completed so doctors and other providers are able to speak with specified loved ones about your treatment or condition. To ensure your wishes about end-of-life treatment are followed, have a living will drafted.

Rules for wills and power of attorney differ in each state, so it's important to understand the legal requirements for Nevada. You'll also need to ensure your documents will be allowed at the necessary institutions. Not every bank, for example, will accept all types of power of attorney declarations. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you understand what all is needed to ensure the least amount of stress on your loved ones when you need medical care or pass away.

Source: Tulsa World, "Get right documents in order for aging parents" Sandra Block, Dec. 15, 2013

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