Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare Decisions (DPOA-H) defined
A Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare Decisions in Nevada is a medical advance directive in which you (as “principal”) name a trusted person(s) (proxy, or in Nevada “attorney-in-fact”) to legally decide medical matters for you when you cannot due to illness, injury, age, etc. In Canada, this document is commonly known as Personal Directive, or Health Care Directive. See https://www.alberta.ca/personal-directive.aspx as a comparison.
The most important advantage of a DPOA-H is to help you avoid a US guardianship over your person and body, the hassle, thousands of dollars in legal fees, costs, dealing with attorneys, and delays in guardianship court.
Customize Your Proxy’s Authority to take care of you
In the DPOA-H you can:
- Provide custom instructions of what you want done (i.e. . . return you to Canada for medical treatment),
- Specifically grant authority to your proxy to decide life and death decisions such as:
- withdraw of hydration and nutrition,
- stopping or the withdraw of treatment, even when you may be suffering from dementia or in a coma, and
- balance your wellbeing throughout treatments,
- Designate how your body is to be handled after death – return it to Canada.
Available Options and Limitations
DPOA-Hs can be:
- Durable, meaning becomes effective immediately, or
- Springing, meaning takes effect after 2 doctors opine you do not have capacity,
- Limited for a specific situation or circumstance, or
- Limited in duration of time.
Who May be Your Proxy
Your selected proxy can be your family or friend located in Canada. In other words, your proxy is not required to be present in Nevada or the US to be named and to help you in times of need. They, however, need to be an adult, and we recommend have common sense.
The above discussion gives you a good idea of large scope of authority you can grant someone you trust to look out for you when you cannot. If we meet to discuss DPOA-H, I will be happy to discuss other advantages for you.
While this Nevada form is easily found on the web, its proper execution and implementation are not so easy when you have pre-existing healthcare directives in Canada. Special care needs to be given to not revoke your Canadian documents. Your DPOA-H should be drafted to only protect you while in Nevada or US. Except for describing how you want your body handled after death, the authority your proxy has ends at death of the principal.
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