A North Carolina power of attorney is a legal document that is used to authorize another person to act on behalf of the person who issued it.
The person who issues the power of attorney is called the principal, while the person who acts based on the principal’s authorization is called the agent or attorney-in-fact.
The North Carolina power of attorney usually includes the following elements:
Details about the principal and agent
Scope of authorities delegated to the agent
Details about the successor agent (optional)
The date the power of attorney becomes effective
Term of the power of attorney
Signature of the principal
Witness signatures (for certain types of power of attorney)
Acknowledgment of the notary public
Types of Power of Attorney in North Carolina
North Carolina Durable (Statutory) Power of Attorney Requirements
This type of North Carolina power of attorney remains valid even after the principal becomes incapacitated. The incapacitation can be caused by mental illness, coma, or any other reason that makes the principal unable to take care of themselves.
North Carolina General (Financial) Power of Attorney Requirements
By issuing a general North Carolina power of attorney, you authorize your agent to take all the necessary actions that are in your best interest. Considering that this type of power of attorney grants wide authorization to the agent, you must choose a person that you trust.
North Carolina Limited (Special) Power of Attorney Requirements
The special power of attorney provides a list of powers and actions the agent is allowed to take on behalf of the principal. Any action outside of the scope provided in this document will be considered invalid.
North Carolina Parental (Minors) Power of Attorney Requirements
Parental power of attorney allows parents to delegate decision-making authority regarding their child to a trusted adult. It is usually issued due to the parent’s inability to take care of the child because of their health, disability, military deployment, etc.
The law of North Carolina limits the validity of this document to no more than 6 months.
North Carolina Medical Power of Attorney Requirements
This type of power of attorney enables individuals to appoint an agent to make healthcare decisions on their behalf. It can specify the types of medical treatment and attention they wish to receive in life-threatening situations. After the principal and two adult witnesses sign it, the document needs to be registered through the Secretary of State's online portal.
North Carolina Springing Power of Attorney Requirements
If you wish your North Carolina power of attorney to become effective after a certain date or event, you should issue a springing power of attorney. In practice, individuals provide that the power of attorney will “spring into effect” if they become incapacitated.
North Carolina Vehicle Power of Attorney Requirements
A principal can use the vehicle power of attorney to authorize another person to:
Scope of Authorization
Sell or purchase a vehicle on their behalf.
Register or transfer the vehicle title.
Apply for a new title or registration.
Obtain a duplicate title.
Pay taxes and fees related to the vehicle.
North Carolina Revocation Power of Attorney Requirements
If you wish to revoke the previously issued power of attorney, you need to issue a North Carolina revocation power of attorney. You should clearly identify the power of attorney you are revoking by stating its date and to whom it was granted. After issuing the revocation of power of attorney, make sure you notify all of the relevant parties.
North Carolina Tax Power of Attorney Requirements
By using a tax power of attorney, you can enable your accountant or other tax advisors to represent you before the North Carolina tax authorities.
North Carolina Real Estate Power of Attorney Requirements
This document is used to enable the real estate agent to complete the real estate transaction on behalf of the principal, manage the principal’s property, and make other decisions related to the real estate.
Legal Requirements for a Power of Attorney in North Carolina
When drafting a power of attorney in North Carolina, you should make sure it fulfills the following criteria:
Witnesses. A medical power of attorney in North Carolina must be signed before two adult witnesses. § 32A-16(3)
Signature. The North Carolina power of attorney must be signed by the principal or in their sound presence.
Mental capacity. The principal should have the mental capacity to understand the consequences of their actions when signing the North Carolina power of attorney.
Notarization. Although notarization is not required in North Carolina, by notarizing your power of attorney, you are confirming its authenticity. This prevents any fraudulent activities or disputes about the authenticity of the document.
Who Can Be an Agent for a Power of Attorney in North Carolina?
Any person over the age of 18 with legal capacity can become an agent in North Carolina. In practice, the principal usually chooses a person they can trust, like a family member or a friend, since they are delegating important authority that can be misused.
Certain types of power of attorney, however, authorize the agent to take a certain action that requires professional knowledge. That is the case with a tax power of attorney, where you should name your accountant as a person who can represent you in regard to tax-related matters.
How to Create a North Carolina Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney in North Carolina
#1. Decide on Which Type of Document to Use
When choosing the type of power of attorney that best suits your needs, you need to consider:
Matters that you need someone to represent you with (tax, legal, real estate, etc.)
Scope of authorities you want to delegate to the agent
When do you want it to become effective
#2. Select an Agent
Choose a person who is over 18 and has the legal capacity to make decisions. Moreover, the agent should be someone you trust and who is willing to represent you.
#3. Define the Agent’s Powers
You can issue a general power of attorney and grant them all the powers they need to represent your interests before third parties.
Moreover, you can provide a list of actions they are allowed to take and parties they are authorized to represent you before.
#4. Download & Fill in Our Form
After you’ve determined the most suitable type of power of attorney, you can download the template from our website and fill out the necessary information.
#5. Get It Signed & Notarized
A power of attorney in North Carolina should be signed by the principal or another person directed by the principal in their sound presence.
Additionally, a power of attorney should also be acknowledged before the notary public or other relevant body.
#6. Safely Store the Original Copy
The original copy of the document should be in the principal's possession. They should also issue another copy to the agent, so they can prove their capacity before the third parties.
#7. Provide Copies to Relevant Parties
You should also send a copy of your power of attorney to every third party your agent is interacting with on your behalf.
#8. Update the Document as Needed
If any of the relevant information in the power of attorney changes, you should update it by issuing a new document with the updated information. You should also send a copy of the new document to every relevant party.
How Long Does a Power of Attorney Last in North Carolina?
A North Carolina power of attorney becomes effective on the day the principal signs it or on the day the principal so determines in the document. This can be a set date or an event that may or may not happen in the future.
The North Carolina power of attorney can be terminated in the following cases:
Reasons for Termination
When the principal cancels it
Due to the agent’s resignation
After the agent completes the action they are authorized for
After a date determined as a termination date
North Carolina Power of Attorney FAQ
You can use the power of attorney in any situation when you are not capable of representing yourself due to mental or physical illness, work, military duty, etc.
It gives the authority to the agent or attorney-in-fact to represent you before third parties within the scope you determine in the power of attorney.
There is no notarization requirement in the state of North Carolina. However, by doing so, you are confirming the authenticity of the document. That prevents any fraud or disputes about the authenticity of the document.
Yes, even if you’ve already drafted your will, you should still make a power of attorney. While a will allocates your property after you pass away, a power of attorney serves you during your lifetime.