Nevada allows individuals to file their living will, health care powers of attorney, and do-not-resuscitate orders with the Nevada Secretary of State through a program called Lockbox. Because people may not always be in a position to provide their doctors with these documents, Lockbox helps ensure medical providers are able to access these important documents in the event of illness or emergency.
Living wills, which are also called advance directives, specify a person’s wishes with respect to end-of-life decisions. Most importantly, living wills specify a person’s preferences regarding whether life support be withdrawn or sustained in the event that person becomes unable able to make these decisions for him or herself. Health care powers of attorney allow individuals to designate another person to make medical decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated and cannot communicate their wishes to medical personnel. Do-not-resuscitate orders are directives to healthcare providers to withhold certain emergency treatments such as CPR.
In the past, these important documents often went undiscovered because medical professionals were unaware of their existence. Lockbox has provided a convenient solution to this problem by helping ensure that medical personnel learn of such documents when necessary. Lockbox even allows agents named in a healthcare power of attorney to file these documents on behalf of the person who appointed them agent.
Although Lockbox simplifies the means by which doctors learn of these important documents, it is critical that documents are current and that they are an accurate reflection of a person’s wishes. These documents have significant consequences, and it is important to ensure that a person’s intentions are properly conveyed. An experienced estate planning attorney can help with the preparation and implementation of these documents.
Source: Nevada Secretary of State, “Living Will Lockbox FAQs“, October 18, 2014