Married Nevada residents sometimes think that they do not need to worry about having powers of attorney in place since their spouses can step in to make the important decisions for them if they become incapacitated. However, there are important reasons for them to draft powers of attorney despite the fact that their spouse can automatically function in the role.
If people become incapacitated while they are still married but is estranged from their spouse, the spouse can still make financial and medical decisions on their behalf. It is a good idea for both spouses to have powers of attorney in the event something like this ever happens.
Another scenario that sometimes occurs is when both spouses become incapacitated. For example, spouses are sometimes both seriously injured in an automobile crash. If they do not have durable powers of attorney in place, then the court will assign someone to make decisions for both of them. It is smart to have a durable power of attorney that names a third party who can act as the attorney-in-fact in the event both become incapacitated.
Powers of attorney may allow people to still have some control over what happens to them if they suffer an illness or accident that leaves them unable to make financial or healthcare decisions for themselves. A durable power of attorney is only one estate planning tool. People may want to meet with their estate planning attorneys about other types of documents that they might need in order to make certain that their wishes are followed. An attorney may make recommendations after analyzing the client’s goals and needs.