North Carolina Health Care Power Of Attorney
A Health Care Power Of Attorney (Health Care POA) is a legal instrument that grants a person the ability to appoint another person (who is called the healthcare agent) the legal authority to make health care decisions on their behalf should they be unable to do so for themselves. It is codified under North Carolina General Statute Chapter 32A.
The Importance of A Health Care Power Of Attorney
It is no one’s wish to become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions regarding their own healthcare. However, life is unpredictable and such situations arise every day. In order to ensure that your desires for your health care are honored, and the person you trust the most to make decisions on your behalf is in charge of your care, it is imperative that you be proactive and execute a Health Care POA.
Health Care Power Of Attorney Quick Facts
- You must be proclaimed mentally incompetent by a medical doctor for the “health care” agent to be able to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
- If you are able to recover from your mental incapacity, you can begin making your own medical decisions again.
- Health Care POAs often prevent family disputes because the incapacitated party has already given decision making authority to the individual they wish to have it.
- Health Care POA may be revoked at any time so long as you have the mental capacity to do so.
- You must be at least 18 years old to create a binding Health Care POA.
- The health care agent must not be receiving compensation for providing medical care and must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
- A health care agent may authorize an autopsy as well as decide how to dispose of the remains.
- The authority given to the health care agent can be limited and apply only in certain circumstances.
- Should the health care agent be the spouse of the principal, and a decree of divorce or separation is entered between the parties, the Health Care POA is automatically revoked.
- “Back up” health care agents can also be appointed should the primary health care agent be unable to serve for any reason.
- A Health Care POA does not provide the health care agent with the authority to make decisions regarding finances or property. There are other types of POAs that can assist in these matters.
- There are certain state-specific laws and regulations regarding the proper form, execution, and witnessing of Health Care POAs. For this reason, it is imperative to retain an attorney that understands the proper way to create a valid Health Care POA.
Contact Jeff for Health Care Power Of Attorney Assistance
I encourage you to contact me, Attorney Jeff Bloomfield, with any questions or concerns you may have about health care POAs and how they can be a key component of your estate planning. You can reach me at 336-221-4457, or you may contact me online.