Do You Need a Durable Power of Attorney in Nevada?

A durable power of attorney ensures a person’s affairs are taken care of by someone they trust if they become mentally incapacitated and avoid a costly guardianship proceeding. A durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person to authorize another to manage their financial affairs. The person who grants the authority is known as the principal, while the one who has been granted the authority to act on behalf of the principal is known as the agent.

Why Have a DPOA?

Unlike a general power of attorney, the durable power of attorney remains effective even if the person becomes disabled, incapacitated, or mentally incompetent. Without a durable power of attorney, the court appoints a guardian or conservator to decide for a person if they become unable to act and make decisions on their behalf.

With a DPOA, an agent that the principal trusts can step in on their behalf without the need for a long and costly court proceeding.

When a DPOA Takes Effect

When a principal signs a durable power of attorney, they authorize the agent to engage in particular legal, financial, and business transactions on their behalf. The DPOA takes effect immediately unless the principal provides that it becomes effective at a particular date or after a certain condition is satisfied, for example, if the doctor declares that the person is incapacitated.

Termination of the DPOA

A principal can revoke their DPOA whenever they want to by informing the agent in writing and notifying agencies or institutions. Also, these can be recorded with the County Recorder’s office.

It is wise for the principal to get the old document back from the agent. If that is not possible, then the principal can send a certified letter to the agent stating the revocation of the power of attorney and also show recording of the revocation.

A DPOA can also end if:

  • The principal dies
  • The agent becomes incapacitated or dies, and no other agent has been listed
  • The principal gets a divorce and their spouse was named as the agent

A former spouse is revoked automatically from being the agent upon annulment or divorce. If the principle named a successor agent, that individual will become the principal’s agent.

A DPOA is an invaluable estate planning tool but is not a substitute for other important documents, such as a will or trust. It is best to incorporate it into one’s overall estate plan after getting proper legal advice from an estate planning attorney.

Kimberly Surratt served for eight years on the executive council and has been the vice chair and then chair of the State Bar of Nevada Family Law Section. In addition, she is the President-Elect of the Nevada Justice Association and the chair of the domestic lobbying committee. She has lobbied with the Nevada Justice Association since 2004.

Related Articles

Guest Blog Assisted Reproductive Technology

 5 Questions Surrogates Should be Asking

There are several major milestones that occur in a surrogacy journey. Surrogates tend to look forward to meaningful moments such as heartbeat confirmation and seeing their Intended Parents holding their baby for the first time after delivery. Among these milestones includes obtaining legal clearance with completed contracts, which may come with mixed emotions.

Guest Blog Family Law

Birth Injury Signs Every Parent Should Know

When a person or couple has been hoping and waiting for a baby and that reality finally comes to light, the joy can be overwhelming. For some couples though, this joy can be overtaken by fear if something is not right with their embryo or baby. Birth injuries are an unfortunate reality and to help, here are some cautionary notes on what to look for and what to do if your baby might have suffered a birth injury.

Will Estate Planning Estate Planning in Nevada Trust

How to Avoid Probate in Nevada

Most people already have assets that will avoid Probate after their death. The most basic of these are jointly titled assets and beneficiary designated documents like life insurance or retirement.  However, there are still other asset that are exposed and could easily be modified to become “Non-Probate” assets. The largest assets that are exposed to probate often include the real property, a business and non-retirement investment accounts.