Important Changes to the North Carolina Power of Attorney

North Carolina has had some important changes to the laws regarding Powers of Attorney which went into effect on January 1, 2018. Here is a brief overview of some of the changes.

1. “Old” Powers of Attorney: If you have a Power of Attorney that was executed before January 1, 2018, don’t worry. It is still valid as long as it complied with the law of North Carolina as it existed at the time of execution. At the same time, if you have an old “short form” Power of Attorney (1-2 pages), you may want to consider an update in order to take advantage of some of the features of the new law.

2. Automatic Durability: Under the new law, Powers of Attorney are assumed to be durable unless the document expressly states otherwise. If the Power of Attorney is not durable, it means that the authority of the attorney-in-fact terminates when the principal becomes incapacitated. A durable Power of Attorney remains in effect until rescinded by the principal, or by the principal’s death.

3. Recording: A Power of Attorney no longer needs to be recorded with the Register of Deeds in order to be accepted. The exception are real estate transactions, which will still need to be recorded.

4. Co-Agents and Successor Agents: The principal in a Power of Attorney may appoint multiple people as co-agents to act jointly. If any individual agent is incapacitated or unable to perform their duties, the principal can also name one or more successor agents.

If you would like additional information or have questions regarding the changes, you can read the full statute under North Carolina General Statute § 32C.

Colin Austin