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What is a power of attorney?

The majority of Nevada residents are familiar with power of attorney. It is often seen in newspaper articles and mentioned on television. However, there can be some confusion as to exactly what a power of attorney is and is not.

With one type of power of attorney, the individual designates someone to act on his or her behalf in an unlimited manner. This can involved financial as well as other decisions. However, it does not give the designated person the authority to represent the individual as an attorney. Additionally, a power of attorney cannot be used to sign a will or enter into a marriage contract.

Another type of power of attorney is a limited one. With this, the designated person holds a power of attorney to act on the individual's behalf on a limited basis, or in limited circumstances. This could be useful if a representative was required for a short period of time or singular event for which the individual could not be present.

There is also an option for parents to establish a power of attorney so that someone can make decisions regarding their children. In this case, another person is able to make temporary decisions regarding the children. This could be useful while the parents are out-of-town and someone else is taking care of the children.

While in most instances a power of attorney does not have to be recorded, the individual may want to do so in case the original document is lost or destroyed. If the document is recorded, it will be necessary to also record any revocation of the power of attorney. Regardless, Nevada residents should consider having their power of attorney notarized.

Source:, A look at powers of attorney, Donna J. Grimsley, March 25, 2014

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