Estate Planning: Can a DurablePower of Attorney Be Used to Change a Will in North Carolina?

A well-crafted estate plan should be comprehensive. Among other things, an estate plan in North Carolina may include a will, trust, and power of attorney (POA). There are many myths and misconceptions about how a POA actually works in our state. You may want to know: Can you use a Durable power of attorney to alter a will in North Carolina? The answer is a clear “no”—while (a) POA is a powerful estate planning document, it cannot be used to change a will. In this blog post, our Monroe estate planning lawyer provides a comprehensive overview of the most important things to know about POAs and wills in North Carolina.

No—a Durable Power of Attorney Cannot Be Used to Alter a Will in North Carolina

The law is clear: In North Carolina, a DurablePower of Attorney (POA) cannot be used to change a person’s will. The rule is in place, in large part, to protect the principal—the person who creates the POA—from undue influence or potential abuse. A will is a legally binding document that outlines how the principal’s assets should be distributed after their death, and any changes to this document must be made directly by the principal, not by an appointed agent via a POA. As long as a person still has legal capacity, he or she can always change his or her own will in North Carolina. Still. , no No, other party, including a loved one who is an agent under a durable POAholds POA, can revise or revoke the will of another.

What You Can Do With a Durable Power of Attorney (POA) In North Carolina

The primary state law that regulates the Durable POA is the North Carolina Uniform Power of Attorney Act.( This state law ONLY regulates a financial power of attorney. There is a different statute for a healthcare power of attorney)Although it cannot be used to revise or revoke a will, it is important to emphasize that a Durable POA is a vital legal tool that can be used to manage a wide range of affairs. Here are a few key things an agent can do with a Durable POA in North Carolina:

Manage Financial Transactions: One of the core things that an agent does with power of attorney in North Carolina, managing financial transactions may include paying bills, managing banking transactions, investing money, filing taxes, and handling real estate. (only with a Durable Power of Attorney)

Make Health Care Decisions: A special type of POA, known as a health care POA, can enable the agent to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal if they become incapacitated.(only with a Health Care Power of Attorney)

Handle Certain Legal Affairs: The agent can represent the principal in legal proceedings, if needed. As an example, imagine that a person is named as a defendant in a lawsuit, perhaps by a creditor. An agent can use POA to defend them in that lawsuit. (only with a Durable Power of Attorney)

Manage Certain Personal Affairs: Along with other things, managing personal affairs for another with POA may involve tasks like arranging for care services or handling mail.(only with a Durable Power of Attorney)

It should be noted that there are multiple different types of power of attorney in North Carolina. POA’s can be customized to meet your specific needs. An experienced Monroe, NC estate planning lawyer can help you put the right structure in place.

A Will and POA’s are Put Part of a Comprehensive Estate Plan in Union County

Estate planning in Union County, North Carolina, involves more than just creating a will or assigning an agent to act as your Power of Attorey POA. It’s a comprehensive process that involves various legal tools designed to protect an individual’s wishes, both in life and after death.

A will is the cornerstone of an estate plan, outlining how an individual’s assets should be distributed after their death. On the other hand, power of attorney documentsa POA is a are crucial tools for managing an individual’s affairs during their lifetime if they become unable to do so themselves.

Both a will and a POA’s work together as part of a broader estate plan. Other important components can include a living will (which outlines an individual’s medical wishes), a health care power of attorney (which appoints someone to make medical decisions on the individual’s behalf if they are unable to do so), and trusts (which can provide for more complex asset distribution scenarios).

Contact Our Monroe, NC Estate Planning Attorney Today

At Plyler, Long & Corigliano, LLP, our Monroe, NC estate planning lawyer is standing by, ready to help you determine the best course of action. If you have any questions about power of attorney, please do not hesitate to contact us today. From our law office in Monroe, we provide estate planning representation throughout all of Union County, including in Waxhaw, Weddington, Indian Trail, Wesley Chapel, Unionville, Marvin, Wingate, Mineral Springs, Lake Park, and Fairview.