Healthcare Power of Attorney and Advance Directives

In preparation of the Fall Semester return to campus, many students have sought to create a Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPOA).  A HCPOA names someone who will possess the legal authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you are incapacitated or unable to communicate.

Normally, a valid North Carolina HCPOA requires a notiarized signature along with two witnesses.  The witness requirement has been waived until July 31, 2020.  If you are in need of a HCPOA, NC State Student Health Services has posted health related forms online.  You can also download a Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA) and, if desired, Advanced Directive (Living Will) from the NC Secretary of State’s website.

You will still need to sign the HCPOA in front of a notary even if you plan on creating one on or before July 31, 2020.  Many banks are still offering notary services for their customers.  UPS stores are also offering notary services at designated locations.  Most businesses that provide notary services require that you make an appointment in advance.

Individuals can file their HCPOA with the NC Secretary of State but it is not required for the document to be effective.  To file it with the Secretary of State, you must go to their website, fill out their advance directive registration form and mail the registration form and a copy of the HCPOA back to them.  They will require that you pay $10 to have the HCPOA on file.  Having the document on file will provide you and your named agent with the ability to retrieve it online from the Secretary of State’s website when needed.  You can also provide copies to your health care providers to place in your medical file.  Your named agents should also have copies of your HCPOA.

If you are an out of state student and have created a valid HCPOA in your state, it will be valid in NC.