A healthcare power of attorney in North Carolina designates a person or persons who are eligible to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to communicate. A normal adult is able to make these decisions on their own, but it’s important to have a plan in place in case something happens to your mental or physical health that renders you incapable of making major medical decisions for yourself. A completed form does not require that your agent exercise their powers on your behalf but gives them the option to do so. Even when exercised, the agent must take due care to act in your best interest.
Your health care agent receives broad powers to make important health care decisions for you if you are unable to make the decision for yourself. A clear document should articulate any special wishes you have with regard to various aspects of your care. Otherwise your agent will be able to make any healthcare decisions that you normally would be able to make.
Think carefully about what person you would like to be your healthcare agent and ensure that it’s someone who knows your wishes and will act on them if needed. These discussions will likely be difficult to have but they can help ensure that your wishes are both known and carried out. Like any other power of attorney, keep copies of your paperwork in a safe place. North Carolina residents can also file their information with the North Carolina Secretary of State and keep up to four advanced directive documents online in the event that your agent cannot find paper copies of your documents.
A healthcare power of attorney is an important decision because it’s an articulation of your desires if you become unable to make decisions. This critical declaration must be made with care and under the guidance of an experienced attorney. Any completed forms must be signed by two witnesses and notarized.
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