The central idea behind the power of attorney in North Carolina is the ability to give someone else the right to make decisions on your behalf. Whether you are hiring a real estate agent to represent you in negotiations, empowering your attorney to manage some of your affairs for you, or giving an adult child the ability to make medical decisions for you should you fall too ill to make them yourself, powers of attorney allow you to do any of these things.
Power of attorney documents are very powerful, giving you great flexibility in managing your affairs. They also help you protect against the possibility of incapacitation by allowing you to appoint someone whom you trust.
Yet the other side of the power of attorney coin is that they can also be dangerous when used improperly. In recent years, many people have misused powers of attorney in order to take advantage of elderly people who can no longer make their own choices. Because of this, people are taking additional steps when they create powers of attorney as a way to protect against possible misuse.
Powers of Attorney in North Carolina and Third Parties
As powers of attorney have become a popular way for identity thieves and others to take advantage of elderly people, many third parties have begun implementing strict policies when it comes to recognizing powers of attorney. A third-party is simply anyone with whom your agent interacts on your behalf. For example, if you create a financial power of attorney and give someone the ability to pay your bills for you, that person will likely have to interact with your bank. The bank is a third-party, and it often has its own policies when it comes to dealing with powers of attorney.
In such a situation, it’s best to know what types of third parties your agent will have to deal with after you grant power of attorney. Contacting those third parties before you grant the power, and identifying any specific policy requirements they have, can do a lot to ensure that your agent uses your power correctly.
Powers of Attorney and Time
Your wishes change over time, and your power of attorney needs to be as current as possible. A good power of attorney is one that you review regularly and update as necessary. In many situations it might be advisable to create new powers of attorney every six months or so. Creating a new document every year is usually a good idea. Doing this shows third parties that you made your decisions about your power of attorney recently. This gives them reassurance that your agent is acting in your best interests and doing so with your consent.