You may wish to complete and sign a power of attorney if you would like someone else to have the power to act on your behalf. A power of attorney grants authority to one person, called the attorney in fact or agent. This person has the power to act on behalf of another person, called the principal. The Nevada legislature enacted the Power of Attorney Act. This law controls how these powers of attorney must be handled to be valid.
Durable or Non-Durable Power of Attorney
Whether a power of attorney is durable or non-durable depends on when the power of attorney takes effect and, more importantly, when it is no longer valid. A durable power of attorney, which is typically for finances, takes effect right away, unless it is a springing power of attorney. In Nevada, a springing durable power of attorney does not take effect until the principal, the person giving the authority, becomes incapacitated. Once in effect, a durable power of attorney and a durable springing power of attorney stay in effect until the death of the principal or POA is revoked. The principal is incapacitated when she can no longer make decisions for herself. The non-durable power of attorney can take effect whenever the principal would like, but is no longer valid once the principal becomes incapacitated. Under Nevada law, all powers of attorney are durable, unless the document states otherwise.
Read More: Definitions of Durable and Non-Durable Power of Attorney
When you grant authority to another person using a power of attorney, the person you give the authority to is called the attorney in fact or agent. The attorney in fact will have the power to make decisions on your behalf, such as entering into contracts or making decisions regarding your finances. Therefore, you should choose someone you trust as your attorney in fact. Otherwise, your wishes may not be carried out completely. These decisions may be limited by the language used in the power of attorney or include any decisions that you could have made on your own.
Nevada law set certain requirements surrounding the execution, or signing, of the power of attorney. The principal, or person granting the power to make decisions to another, must sign the power of attorney. The power of attorney is also valid if the principal directs another person to sign on his behalf, as long as that person signs in the principal's presence. This person can be anyone. The signature is valid under Nevada law as long as the principal signs in front of a notary public or the person signing at the direction of the principal signs in front of a notary public.
Revoking the Power of Attorney
At some point, you may wish to revoke a durable power of attorney for finances you have already signed. This is possible under Nevada law. To revoke a power of attorney, you must notify, in writing, the attorney in fact that you are doing so. The document revoking the power of attorney can be a simple one-page document. The document should be notarized and you may wish to have two witnesses sign it as well. This document may be delivered to the attorney in fact by mail or any other method of delivery.
Mark Vansetti is a licensed attorney and, along with his Juris Doctor, holds bachelor's degrees in both human biology and economics. Throughout his professional career, he has written on a variety of topics for the American Bar Association Health Law Section, FindLaw and other websites. Vansetti also served as the senior editor of his law school's law review.