North Carolina HEALTH CARE POWER OF ATTORNEY: 7 things to think about
- What is it?
In North Carolina a Health Care Powers of Attorney authorizing someone to make medical decisions for you, if you become unable to make or communicate your own medical decisions. Note that the creator of the Health Care POA must be mentally competent at the time of creation and signing.
- Who will your agent be and if not available, who is the agents back-up?
A Health Care Power of Attorney is a document we believe everyone should have, which frequently designates a primary agent and also back-up agents (contingent agents), in case the primary agent cannot be reached or cannot make a decision for you.
- Do I need additional forms to express my health care wishes?
The Health Care Power of Attorney form, as set out in the North Carolina General Statutes, is very comprehensive. It also contains some blank spaces, in which you may add to, limit or explain your Health Care Agent’s powers in further detail if you wish to do so.
- What else can I say in a Health Care POA?
Your Health Care Power of Attorney may be modified to express your personal wishes, such as religious beliefs, whether or not you want to be an organ donor, or to express your funeral and burial wishes, or your desire to be cremated, if applicable.
- Do Health Care POA’s in NC need witnesses and be notarized?
A Health Care Power of Attorney must be signed in the presence of two witnesses and must be notarized.
- Can I have my spouse or children witness my POA?
The witnesses may not be related to the person creating the document, (spouse or children, or even siblings, aunts, uncles or first cousins) or people who are beneficiaries under your Will, employees of your doctor or a hospital or other health facility, such as a retirement or a nursing home, where you are a resident.
- Why is a Health Care POA important?
We believe the Health Care Power of Attorney is a very important document, letting both family and the medical community know your wishes, thus preventing disputes between family members or family members and the primary/attending physician.
If you have questions about your existing Health Care Power of Attorney or are in need of a new one, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. Also, if you have moved from another state or your legal document are more than 5 year old, we offer a free review.