Craig's Corner - Wealth Planning Insights

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Understanding Guardianship vs. Power of Attorney in Nevada

Is a durable power of attorney a necessary component to an estate plan?

In Nevada, there exists an option for estate planners known as a “durable power of attorney,” which creates a principal-agent relationship between the creator and trusted family or friends. In the estate planning context, the durable power of attorney is an exceptionally handy document for anyone looking to avoid the delay and expense associated with a full adult guardianship, should one become necessary. Moreover, executing a durable power of attorney also helps ensure convenience for those agents tasked with conducting financial or legal transactions on behalf of the principal – which may be necessary if the principal is out-of-town or is otherwise unavailable.

The durable power of attorney comes into play most notably when a principal reaches a point of mental incapacity, which may be caused by the onset of dementia or as a result of illness or injury. Historically, the power of attorney would become invalid upon the incapacity of the principal, requiring agents to file for adult guardianship in order to continue assisting their loved one with financial and legal transactions. However, due to the “durability” of the power of attorney document, it is designed to outlast and withstand the inception of incapacity, allowing those loved ones the opportunity to continue assisting their family member with obtaining benefits, paying bills, and possibly planning for long-term care.

In the event a guardianship is necessary, anyone interested in serving the role may petition for guardianship in the county in which the proposed ward resides. If the petition remains uncontested, and the court does not find any reason to deny the petitioner the request to serve as guardian, the request will likely be granted – allowing the petitioner to work alongside the ward to ensure financial stability and continued security. In some cases, however, guardianship petitions are contested by family members and close friends, which will result in a hearing to determine the best possible solution to uphold the ward’s best interests.

Contact the Stone Law Offices today!

If you are considering adding a durable power of attorney to your estate plan, please do not hesitate to contact the Stone Law Offices today: 1-877-800-3424.

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S. Craig Stone II of Stone Law Offices, Ltd. serves clients throughout Clark County, Southern NV, Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, North Las Vegas, Summerlin, Carson City, Reno, Washoe County, and Nye County. Also serving clients with asset protection nationwide.

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