A power of attorney form in NC is an essential legal document that allows you to designate someone else to make decisions on your behalf, often even if you become incapacitated. Different POA arrangements are available, and it is crucial to understand which one will best suit your needs. In this article, we will look at the different power of attorney forms in NC and discuss the situations where they might be helpful.
Power of Attorney Form in NC Online
While you may find many POA forms online, it’s hard to know if they include the powers you need. It is crucial to talk with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure that your documents cover the situations and emergencies when you may need help.
With so many different POA arrangements available, consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you choose the suitable forms for your situation.
Understanding the Power Of Attorney Document
The basic principle behind powers of attorney is that you give another individual the ability to act on your behalf. Your “POA,” “agent,” or “attorney-in-fact” is what others call the individual you choose to act for you.
However, you must provide consent for your agent’s actions. Your agent can act as if they are you, but only to the extent that you permit them.
Your power of attorney document in NC defines what your agent can make decisions about and how long they can make these decisions for you. Drawing up a POA document with the correct legal wording is more than important. You are letting someone else have the power to make your decisions for you!
Types of Power of Attorney in North Carolina
Each type of POA has different strengths and weaknesses, so it is vital to understand which one will work best for your needs. There are many types of power of attorney in North Carolina:
Durable General Power of Attorney
A Durable General Power of Attorney is the most comprehensive POA available. A durable general POA gives your agent authority to make decisions about your finances and health care even if you face incompetence or incapacitation. Your agent has authority for any situation where you need help making decisions- even if you find yourself incapacitated in a coma or diagnosed with dementia.
This document gives your agent broad authority to make decisions on your behalf. You can draw up this type of POA for any situation where you need someone else to make decisions for you. A General POA lasts only until revoked or until you become incapacitated.
A Durable POA remains valid even if you become incapacitated or incompetent. This type of power of attorney is vital for when you need help making decisions in the future, such as regarding your finances or health care. There are two types of Durable POA:
- Financial Durable POA gives your agent authority over all of your financial affairs. Your agent may pay bills, manage bank accounts, and handle your taxes.
- Health Care Durable POA gives your agent authority over all decisions regarding your health care. Your agent may make decisions about things like medical treatment, end-of-life care, and organ donation.
Other Power of Attorney Documents in North Carolina
There are also a few other types of power of attorney that are specific to certain situations:
Real Estate POA
This POA gives your agent authority to make decisions about buying, selling, or renting property on your behalf.
This POA gives your agent authority to make decisions about paying taxes on your behalf.
A business POA gives your agent authority to make decisions about running a business in which you have an ownership interest.
Power to Choose If You Can No Longer Make Decisions
With Power of Attorney documents, you may express your wishes for care if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. POAs are an essential planning tool that can ensure others carry out your wishes even if you cannot communicate them.
However, you could confuse others with poorly written POA forms. You could even face an invalid POA agreement when you need a POA the most.
For example, if you suffer a stroke and cannot make decisions for yourself, a court could get involved in naming a guardian for you. With a correct and legally written Durable General POA, a court would not get involved to name a guardian. In appointing a Durable General POA for yourself, you’ve already chosen a care person for yourself.
It is too late to draw up a power of attorney naming someone you trust to make decisions for you after you already face an inability to make decisions for yourself. In this case, the court may appoint a guardian based on courtroom proceedings. They will have no way of knowing what your wishes are.
We Can Help
At Hopler, Wilms, and Hanna, PLLC, our estate planning attorneys can work with you to find the best power of attorney forms for your situation. We can help you choose the power of attorney forms that give your agent authority if you can no longer make decisions. We also work with all other types of POAs that you may need in specific situations. Contact us today to get started!