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Establishing a durable power of attorney for health care

When you are writing your living trust, it is vital to name someone who will make important health care decisions on your behalf, should you become incapacitated. This is called granting durable power of attorney for your healthcare. Being incapacitated is generally defined one of two ways. One, it means that you, for one reason or another, cannot communicate your wishes. Or, it could mean that you cannot understand the different healthcare options available to you. In this case, having a trusted individual acting on your behalf can be highly beneficial.

When you do grant someone, an “agent,” durable power of attorney for your healthcare, it is crucial to share with them any demands you have in your living will so they can make the right choices for you. While your living will can be highly specific, down to the types of medicine you do not want to take, it is impossible to cover every scenario. Your power of attorney will only make decisions on your behalf that are not covered in the living will.

In Nevada, the power of attorney continues until one of four events occurs:

  • You (the principal) dies; this means your agent cannot automatically dictate what happens to your remains.
  • You revoke the power of attorney.
  • You include a termination date in your living will, and that date passes.
  • The agent becomes incapacitated, dies or resigns, and no other substitute was named.

If you need assistance drafting a living will, including naming an agent to carry out the durable power of attorney role for your health care, contacting an experienced attorney may be beneficial. 

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