Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Lawyer's Edge
by Bruce L. Woodbury, Esq.
Jolley, Urga, Wirth, Woodbury & Standish

More Power To You
Powers of attorney are often necessary elements of estate planning. Of course, a last will and testament or a living trust are essential documents for nearly everyone, and the need for powers of attorney should also be discussed with your attorney.
A Power of Attorney is a written document whereby one person gives another person the authority to act on behalf of the first person when he or she is not present or is otherwise not able to act. The power of attorney can be general in granting broad authority to take any and all financial and contractual actions or it can be specific in authorizing only certain limited acts, such as acting in a designated real estate transaction for an out-of-state buyer or seller.

These days the most common type of specific powers of attorney involve health care decisions. Durable powers of attorney for health care decisions are increasingly popular. Since the Terry Schiavo ordeal, the number of clients who ask about them has increased dramatically. Through either a “living will,” also referred to as a “directive to physicians,” or a health-care power of attorney, a person makes it known that if he or she is in a terminal condition and becomes comatose or otherwise incapable of communicating with the attending physician, life-prolonging procedures should not be utilized and that the person be allowed to die naturally. A durable health care power of attorney also designates another who is authorized to help the doctor make those final decisions when the person is no longer able to communicate. The word “durable” means that it remains effective after the person signing the power of attorney loses his or her mental capacity.

Health care powers of attorney or living wills should be seriously considered as part of everyone’s estate planning documents.

Bruce Woodbury can be reached at

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