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About disability planning

When creating an estate plan, Nevada residents should include the possibility of having a disability. Planning for disability can limit confusion among family members and ensure that one's assets are protected while they are incapacitated.

A financial power of attorney is one of the documents that should be on hand. It allows individuals to designate an attorney-in-fact to manage their personal and financial matters. Using a durable power of attorney, or DPOA, gives the designated person powers that will become effective if the individual is incapacitated and will terminate when the individual dies. There are various types of DPOAs that can be used for different situations.

In order to have a trusted family member or friend make medical decisions on their behalf in the event they are unable to do so, individuals should have a health care power of attorney, or HCPOA, completed. One's preferences regarding participation in medical trials or organ donation can be specified. Like the DPOA, the HCPOA should establish clear guidelines for how someone should be deemed incapacitated.

A living will can be included in a HCPOA and can detail an individual's preferences for end-of-life care and the conditions for receiving life-extending treatment. The living will should explicitly state an individual's preferences regarding whether extraordinary measures should be enacted if the individual is in a continuous vegetative state or has a terminal illness.

An attorney who practices estate planning law may provide legal advice on how to make sure the appropriate legal safeguards are in place that can protect one's assets and honor their wishes regarding their care in the event they are unable to make the decisions for themselves. Depending on a client's specific case, the attorney may recommend the appropriate type of fiduciary or health powers of attorney.

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