The durable power of attorney document grants a designated person the power to handle your financial affairs. For example, your appointed power of attorney will be able to manage your bank account, liquidate assets, sign documents and perform other financial management tasks on your behalf. This power can be granted effective immediately upon signing the document or only upon the event of your mental incompetence or incapacity.
In the State of North Carolina, in order for a durable power of attorney to be effective after the principal is mentally incompetent, the document must be filed with the office of the Register of Deeds. In the unfortunate case where there is not a power of attorney filed prior to an individual becoming mentally incompetent, then a guardian must be appointed. This is accomplished through the court system by guardianship proceedings. During guardianship proceedings the debts, assets, and mental competence of the principal are examined in the courtroom.
Having a durable power of attorney saves your family the time, expense and emotional hardship of going through the court appointed guardianship process.
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