Effective January 1, 2018, a new power of attorney statute came into effect in North Carolina. This new law, known as the North Carolina Uniform Power of Attorney Act, supersedes and makes substantial changes to our state's prior power of attorney laws in Chapter 32 A of the North Carolina General Statutes. The new power of attorney law clarifies some of the long existing ambiguities in this area of law and provides for a number of significant changes dealing with the drafting and recording of power of attorney instruments in North Carolina.
More Specific Powers Can Be Given to Attorney-in-FactIt allows for more specificity in describing the powers that a person can give to their attorney-in-fact (now known as "agent" under the new law). The new law also has provisions that are intended to make it easier for power of attorney documents to be accepted by third parties. Previously there have been some problems with big banks and insurance companies rejecting old forms that were perfectly legal in NC because they did not meet a "uniform" standard for their legal departments. This new law does not have any effect on health care powers of attorney prepared in accordance with Articles 3 and 4 of the old Chapter 32A of the North Carolina General Statutes.
New Law Does Not Invalidate Existing DocumentsThe new law does not invalidate power of attorney documents that were prepared under the old law prior to January 1, 2018. However, everyone should strongly consider having their power of attorney documents updated by an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. As time goes on, it is expected that documents prepared under the old law will become more and more problematic and will face difficulties being accepted by third parties.
Beware of Do-It-Yourself Legal WebsitesNow more than ever, people should be wary of online power of attorney forms and "self-help" websites that claim to be able to prepare documents such as powers of attorney, wills and the like. Powers of attorney are vitally important legal tools and this change in the law makes it all the more important that people get professionally prepared documents and up to date legal counsel. At The Doyle Law Offices, P.A. we have taken the appropriate steps to educate ourselves and understand the changes brought about by this new law. We can prepare power of attorney documents in compliance with the new North Carolina Power of Attorney Act and give our clients the benefit of our knowledge so that they can put instruments in place that will effectively meet their needs and protect their interests.
If you need a power of attorney or have an old one that you have questions about, please call The Doyle Law Offices, P.A. at 919-228-4487 or fill out the form below.