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What rules govern future health care planning in Nevada?

There are several forms that individuals should consider completing regarding health care when planning for end-of-life care. A Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care Decisions can be filed with the state Lockbox. That document allows you to identify someone who will have decision-making power if you are incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself. The rule that governs the durable power of attorney in Nevada is Senate Bill 314.

You don't have to rely on your health care power of attorney to make decisions blindly, however. Nevada provides several documents that let you make wishes known in a legal format. These are known as advance directives. Three main advance directive forms exist and can be filed with the state Lockbox. The forms include a do-not-resuscitate order, which is a declaration about whether life-sustaining treatment should be withheld or withdrawn and the durable power of attorney itself.

When filing a copy of any of these forms in the Lockbox, you make them available to any certified health care practitioner. Doctors and others can access them so that they know how to treat you during end-of-life stages and also whom you've designated to receive personal health care information and make decisions about care.

Advance directives can be changed, but new documents should immediately be filed to Lockbox to avoid the potential that an old document will be used in a time of need. It's also important to speak to your family about your wishes so documents and decisions don't come as a surprise at a time when shock may be difficult to deal with. A legal agent can assist you with the process of completely advance directives and other forms, and may also file forms to the Lockbox on your behalf.

Source: Nevada Secretary of State, "Are Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care Decisions governed by State law?" Sep. 12, 2014

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