Advance Directives: Nevada Estate Planning

Learn everything you need to know about advance directives in Nevada. From legal requirements to healthcare decision-making, the Wood Law Group has you covered.

Advocate for Your Needs During Times You’re Unable To

Are you preparing for the worst-case scenario where something terrible might happen to you? Aside from protecting your assets with a trust, it would also be helpful to include medical details in your estate planning.

Incorporating an advance directive into your Nevada estate plan can ease your worries about the final stages of your life. Your directives specify what type of medical care you would like if you were incapacitated and could not speak for yourself. These also specify the treatments or care you don’t wish to receive.

meta-analysis of studies conducted from 2011-2016 shows that only one in three US adults have advance directives. The low number is mainly attributed to the belief that these documents are yet to live up to their promise.

This article provides an overview of the significance of this document and its technical aspects. If you want more information about advance directives in Nevada, an estate planning attorney from the Wood Law Group can assist you.

What Are Advance Directives?

An advance directive is a legal document created in accordance with NRS 449A.703. It is used to state one’s end-of-life decisions. It may also include but is not limited to rejecting certain types of treatment, organ donation, and appointing a trusted decision maker.

The person creating the advance directive is called the “principal.” On the other hand, the organization or person authorized to enact the principal’s wishes is called the “agent.”

Having one in place is vital in case you become incapacitated and cannot make a decision regarding your health. If you’re terminally ill, your doctor and family will know whether or not you want to continue life-sustaining treatment.

You may also benefit from advance directives if you:

  • You plan to stay in a community care facility.

  • You were diagnosed with a terminal illness.

  • You’re already advanced in age, or your health is already deteriorating.

  • You will be hospitalized because of a scheduled medical procedure.

Types of Advance Directives in Nevada

There are two options available in Nevada when it comes to making advance medical directives.

Living Will

Adding medical directives to your living will inform your doctors and family how to address medical conditions.

The document will only take effect once the doctor confirms that your status qualifies under Nevada medical directive laws. It will only be used once you can no longer make or voice healthcare decisions.

A living will won’t have as much weight as a durable power of attorney. However, it’s still an essential part of a comprehensive estate plan. If this was made before October 2009 or you just recently moved to Nevada, consult an estate planning attorney to make a living will specific to Nevada.

Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare

The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care allows you to appoint someone else to make health care decisions in the event that you are unable to do so. It gives that person (called your agent) instructions about the kinds of medical treatment you want.

This document will serve as a guide for your representative when making medical decisions on your behalf. Like a living will, the document will only take effect when you become incapacitated.

If you need clarification on which type of document you need, call the Wood Law Group. Let us walk you through the pros and cons of each document.

Legal Requirements for Advance Directives in Nevada

The principal must be confirmed to be mentally competent for the document to be deemed legally valid. In cases where the principal can no longer make his own decision, a court-appointed conservatorship is needed. At this point, it’s crucial to consult an attorney.

Necessary Forms and Documentation

Those who want to file an advance directive for healthcare decisions will submit the following documents:

The documents must be submitted to the Secretary of State. Submission can be done via:

  • Mailing to the North Las Vegas Office
  • Faxing to a secured e-fax
  • Scan and send as a PDF file via e-mail
  • Personally bring to Carson City or North Las Vegas offices

Use the Authorization to Change Form to notify the Secretary of State right away of any changes such as:

    • Your contact information or your primary or alternate contacts.
    • Withdrawing from the Advance Directive Registry
    • Changing or replacing the documents submitted to the Advance Directive Registry

    Witnesses and Notarization

    Requirements regarding witnesses and notarization vary by state. The State of Nevada usually requires having two witnesses sign the document. Advance directives intended for psychiatric care should also be notarized.

    Below are the eligibility criteria for witnesses signing on the document:

    • Should not be your healthcare provider or any of their employee
    • Should not be an employee, operator, or owner of the healthcare facility administering your care.
    • At least one witness is not legally connected to you (e.g., Family member, adopted child, or spouse) or any other beneficiary/heir
    • Should be at least 18 years old
    • None of the witnesses is simultaneously serving as your agent.
    • If the agent can make decisions about your burial or cremation, the document must also be notarized.

    The Wood Law Group Can Help Estate Planning Become Hassle-Free.

    Creating an advance directive seems simple, with all the auto-fill forms available online. However, there are technicalities that you need to note to ensure that the document will be considered legally valid.

    The Wood Law Group is committed to taking away any confusion by ensuring that all your concerns are addressed. We pay close attention to the details of your case to make sure that even your religious or philosophical beliefs are considered.

    With 40 years of experience, we serve clients needing our help in estate planning, worker’s compensation, and probate. From initial consultation to the final setup of the advance directive, we always go the extra mile to make you feel as if we are doing it for our loved ones. Book a consultation with us today!

    Frequently Asked Questions on Advance Directives


    What is an advance directive, and why do I need one in Nevada?

    An advance directive is a legal document that outlines your healthcare preferences in case you become unable to make decisions for yourself. In Nevada, it ensures your wishes are respected, reducing stress for your family during critical times.

    How can I create an advance directive in Nevada?

    You can create an advance directive by completing a form available from healthcare providers or legal advisors in Nevada. It must be signed in the presence of a notary or two adult witnesses who are not beneficiaries.

    Who can act as my agent under an advance directive in Nevada?

    You can appoint any competent adult, typically a trusted family member or friend, to act as your agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, provided they agree to act in this role.

    Can I change or revoke my advance directive?

    Yes, in Nevada, you can change or revoke your advance directive at any time as long as you are competent. This can be done by creating a new directive or physically destroying the old one in front of witnesses.

    What happens if I don’t have an advance directive in Nevada?

    Without an advance directive, healthcare decisions will be made by court-appointed guardians or next of kin, which might not reflect your personal wishes.