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Las Vegas Guardianship Lawyers

Las Vegas Attorneys for The Establishment of Guardianships

Are you concerned that your aging or ill relative or friend is no longer able to competently handle his or her own personal affairs? Are you considering seeking guardianship so that you can better take care of them and get them the help they need?

The lawyers at Ken R. Ashworth & Associates will use our more than 30 years of experience and our integrity and credibility in handling estate planning matters to achieve your family’s needs and goals.

Contact us online to discuss your situation in an initial consultation or call us at 702-893-9500.

Ensuring A Person’s Medical and Financial Wishes Are Carried Out

The fact is that people in our society are living longer, leading to an increased population of aging Americans. As people age, they become more likely to grant their children or other close relatives and friends powers of attorney to make decisions on their behalf, for reasons of asset protection and prevention of manipulation, amongst others.

Unfortunately, due to difficulties in enforcement of these powers of attorney, an increasing number of organizations are no longer accepting a power of attorney as sufficient proof that this person can make decisions on the elderly or sick person’s behalf. For example, many Nevada banks will no longer allow you to make financial transactions with a power of attorney.

Fortunately, there is an alternative — under Nevada law, a close relative or friend can seek guardianship of an incapacitated person. A guardianship or conservatorship will allow you to make medical and financial decisions on your relative or friends’ behalf, as well as complete related necessary transactions. A guardian also takes on the responsibility for his or her ward — ensuring that his or her best interests are always accounted for in making these decisions and transactions.

What Are the Different Types of Guardianship in Nevada?

There are three basic types of court-appointed guardianships in Nevada:

  • Guardian of the Person — The guardian is responsible for the care, upkeep, education, and maintenance of the person.
  • Guardian of the Estate — The guardian is responsible for making financial decisions for the person, managing the person’s estate, paying bills, and providing for the person’s financial needs.
  • Guardian of the Person and the Estate — This guardian has control over the personal and financial decisions of the person.

Many people do not like the idea of losing control over the decisions that affect their personal care and financial matters. They may not want a court to choose the person who becomes their guardian. There are ways that a person can exercise control over who handles their financial and personal affairs should they become incapacitated.

Are There Ways to Avoid A Court-Appointed Conservator or Guardian?

In addition to assisting individuals and families seek court authority to care for the physical and financial needs of their loved ones, our attorneys assist clients in developing estate plans that avoid the need for a conservator or guardian. An important aspect of estate planning is incapacitation planning. We never know when something might happen that prevents us from making decisions for ourselves. However, there are ways that we can maintain some control over what happens if we are unable to speak for ourselves.

Incapacitation planning involves executing documents that appoint agents to act on our behalf. If we are in an accident, become ill, or are otherwise unable to care for ourselves or make decisions related to our personal, medical, and financial matters, our agents assume the responsibility for us.

Documents that are commonly used for incapacitation planning include:

  • Durable Power of Attorney — A financial power of attorney allows an agent to manage our finances. The powers granted in a durable power of attorney include, but are not limited to, paying bills, managing investments, purchasing property, selling property, initiating/settlement lawsuits, receiving income, and managing financial accounts. A Durable Power of Attorney may eliminate the need for a court-appointed guardian. The key is to include a “durable” clause. A regular power of attorney may not be accepted by third parties.
  • Health Care Power of Attorney — With a health care power of attorney, the agent named in your power of attorney has authority to make health care decisions for you if you cannot do so. You may include a clause that gives your agent the power to make decisions regarding your daily care and personal needs, which could eliminate the need for a guardian.
  • Medical Directives and Living Wills — These legal documents make your decisions regarding life-sustaining or life-prolonging medical treatments known to your doctors and family members. You can refuse feeding tubes or ventilators, if you desire. You may also appoint an agent to carry out the wishes you express regarding end-of-life care and treatment.

It is not always possible to avoid a conservatorship or guardianship action. Working with our Law Vegas probate attorneys to develop a comprehensive estate plan can help reduce the chance of court intervention should you become incapacitated for any reason. It can also lessen the burden on your family because they will not need to file petitions with the court or have court supervision if these documents are in place before your incapacitation.

Contact Our Las Vegas Lawyers for an initial consultation

Are you considering seeking guardianship of your parent or other aging relative or friend? Contact us online today for a consultation or call us at 702-893-9500.