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Planning for long-term care without family

People in Nevada who do not have immediate or close family members still need an estate plan. An important part of this plan is appointing people to manage one's financial and healthcare decisions in case of incapacity.

If a person does not have the necessary documents in place and becomes incapacitated, a judge will appoint a guardian. This might be someone the person would not have chosen and may be someone whose values conflict with those of the incapacitated person. If the incapacitated person has loved ones who argue against the decisions of this court-appointed guardian, that guardian still has the final word.

A person who does create powers of attorney to appoint people to make financial and healthcare decisions should appoint secondary and tertiary individuals in case their designees also become incapacitated or die. People who have a partner or spouse usually appoint that person, and if they have close-knit families, they may also appoint siblings or children. However, those who are not in this situation might want to think about non-family members they could appoint. Another possibility is appointing a professional fiduciary or guardian. This professional might act in tandem with a friend or family member. A person might also turn certain things over to a professional, such as bill paying, while retaining independence in other areas.

People might want to meet with an attorney to discuss what qualities the individuals appointed to these roles should possess. For example, if there is a loved one with a medical and caregiving background, that person might be right to take over healthcare decisions. The person chosen to handle the financial side of things should be organized and financially responsible. People should also create a will even if they have no close family members as assets could be left to friends or charity.

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