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Health care powers of attorney can aid decision-making

When Nevada residents think about estate planning, they may consider it a matter for dealing with wills or trusts. However, some of the most important documents can affect the way people are treated while they are alive but incapacitated. Many people have strong feelings about the kind of treatment they receive when they are in a situation where they are unable to make their own medical decisions. A health care power of attorney can ensure that a trusted person is responsible for making those decisions in such a situation.

Ever year, National Healthcare Decisions Day highlights the importance of decision-making about medical authority in case of incapacity. Many people know who they would want to make decisions about their care, including choices of life or death, but often have not formalized those preferences. A health care proxy or power of attorney can designate a specific person charged with acting on the document creator's behalf in case he or she is unable to do so. While some people may think this need only applies to older people or those who are in poor health, anyone could face a catastrophic incident.

Some physicians urge people to talk to their families and loved ones about their principles for end-of-life decisions. While it can be uncomfortable to talk about death, families can find relief in difficult circumstances when they know the wishes of their loved one. In addition, it can be important to make the choice of health care proxy known in order to avoid later disputes.

These types of documents can be important even for young and healthy people. An estate planning attorney can work with clients to develop health care and financial powers of attorney as well as other key documents like wills and trusts.

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