Written by Jonathan Breeden
Assigning someone as your power of attorney allows this individual to make important legal decisions on your behalf. This might include taking care of your children, handling your finances, and making important healthcare decisions. However, you may be wondering whether you can legally create your own power of attorney.
Fortunately, under North Carolina law, you can create your own power of attorney. But before you get started, make sure you understand what a legally binding power of attorney document should entail and how to know whether you are better off creating your own power of attorney or working with an estate planning lawyer.
When you’re unable to make decisions for yourself because of a physical or mental condition, you may need a power of attorney to step in and make these decisions for you. Power of attorney agents pay bills, provide concern for medical treatment and care, and handle your household.
Suppose you do not have an existing power of attorney and become unable to make decisions for yourself. In that case, your family will have to file a petition to obtain a power of attorney on your behalf. By implementing a power of attorney when these decisions need to be made, you can protect yourself and your family from the unthinkable.
Carefully consider who you select as your agent. Choose a family member or individual you trust to make the decisions you would make if you were able to. This individual will make vital decisions regarding your life, family, and your assets.
If you are interested in creating your own power of attorney, North Carolina offers the forms you need to successfully file your power of attorney. These include:
If you choose to create your own power of attorney, there’s much to consider. This decision might not be best for everyone. To ensure you do this correctly, it’s recommended that you work with an attorney. They can explain the decisions you’re making and what to consider before you finalize your document.
Here are the steps to create a power of attorney:
Start off by deciding how much or little power you want your agent to have. Power of attorney documents have a wide range of responsibilities. It is essential to consider how much power you want the agent to have and where this power should be exercised. For example, if you are selecting a power of attorney to prepare for a medical emergency, it may be in your best interests not to limit your agent’s powers.
Choosing the person who will act as your power of attorney agent is critical. You can select anyone you trust to make difficult and sensitive decisions for you. You should go over all your finances, religious concerns, medical decisions, ethics, and other wishes your power of attorney may be responsible for.
Once you have selected the appropriate power of attorney, make sure you download the respective forms available above. You must fill out these forms in their entirety and go over any questions you have regarding the contents with your estate planning attorney.
Once all your forms have been filled out, it needs to be validated. The financial power of attorneys needs to be acknowledged before a notary public or other authorized individual before it is considered legally binding.
The healthcare power of attorneys needs to be signed in the presence of two witnesses and acknowledged before notary public. Qualified witnesses to a healthcare power of attorney can include anyone not related to you or your spouse, anyone who will not inherit from your will, and any healthcare providers who are not currently providing you with treatment or medical care.
After your power of attorney forms have been validated and notarized where necessary, be sure to provide copies of your power of attorney forms to all necessary parties. This includes your healthcare providers to include in your medical records and your agent to prove their authority to make decisions on your behalf.
Making mistakes when creating your own power of attorney could cost you and your family in the long run. Do not run the risk of your wishes not being met or your estate plan not being considered valid.
It is essential to get help formulating your power of attorney documents. Contact an experienced North Carolina estate planning lawyer at Breeden Law Office to craft your power of attorney as soon as today. Fill out our convenient contact form or call our office at 919-661-4970 to start your estate plans.