New laws take effect in North Carolina 1 January 2018 regarding a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows an individual to act on your behalf. There are different types of Power of Attorneys:
General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney (POA) gives broad powers to a person (an attorney-in-fact) to act in your behalf. These powers include handling financial and business transactions, buying life insurance, litigating, settling claims, operating business interests, making gifts, and employing professional help. You often use a general power of attorney when you need someone to handle certain matters or when you are physically or mentally incapable of managing your affairs. In the past, the power of attorney lost its effectiveness when a person became incompetent unless it was “durable” and recorded with the Register of Deeds before the person became incompetent. We believe this document should be included in an estate plan and believe it to be as important if not more important than a Last Will & Testament..
Health Care Power of Attorney
A health care power of attorney grants another person authority to make medical decisions on your behalf. Usually, the authority does not begin until you are unconscious, mentally incompetent, or otherwise unable to make decisions on your own.
New Law Regarding POAs
The North Carolina Uniform Power of Attorney Act  is effective January 1, 2018. It is codified in North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 32C. All new POA’s must be drafted and executed in accordance with the new law. You can use a new form (the “North Carolina Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney” in Chapter 32C). However, it is imperative to speak with an attorney before executing a POA to fully understand its terms. Old POAs executed before January 1, 2018 that complied with the previous law are still valid.
The new law makes several changes. In addition to the new short-form POA, it adds a new limited POA for real estate transactions and expressly makes a POA durable (survives incompetency) without having to be recorded at the Register of Deeds. It also allows the appointment of a guardian should the principle become incompetent in the future.
Health Care POA’s do not appear to be directly affected by new law.
Pick Someone You Trust
It is imperative that you pick someone you absolutely trust to be your POA. An Attorney in Fact in many cases has all the legal authority that you do. For this reason, you need to pick someone you trust who will act on your behalf and in your bests interests.