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North Carolina Living Will Requirements

Posted on: June 1st, 2023 by EOS Healthcare Marketing

A living will is important as it allows individuals to clearly express their healthcare wishes and preferences, ensuring that their desires for medical treatment and end-of-life care are respected even if they cannot communicate. It guides healthcare providers and family members, reducing potential conflicts and uncertainty during critical medical situations. A living will promotes personal autonomy, preserves dignity, and provides peace of mind by ensuring one’s wishes are known and followed.

What is a Living Will?

A living will is a legal document that outlines an individual’s preferences for medical treatment and end-of-life care if they become incapacitated and unable to communicate. It specifies the desired level of medical intervention, resuscitation measures, and life-sustaining treatments to be administered or withheld. The purpose of a living will is to ensure that one’s healthcare decisions are respected and followed even when one cannot express their wishes directly.

Living Will Requirements for North Carolina

The requirements for a living will in North Carolina are as follows: 

Once the living will is executed, it can still be revoked or terminated in North Carolina in several ways. First, you may revoke your living will in writing or in a manner where you communicate your intent to revoke the living will. Next, your healthcare agent can revoke your living will if the power of revocation is explicitly granted to him or she in either your healthcare power of attorney or within your living will.

Steps to Create a Living Will in North Carolina

To make a living will in North Carolina, the following steps are typically involved:

  1. Determine your healthcare wishes: Consider the medical treatments and interventions you would want or not want in the event of incapacity and near end-of-life situations. Reflect on your values, beliefs, and desired quality of life.
  2. Obtain the appropriate form: Obtain a living will form that complies with North Carolina law. 
  3. Complete the living will form: Fill out the form, providing your personal information, healthcare instructions, and preferences regarding specific medical treatments or end-of-life care.
  4. Sign the living will: Sign the living will in the presence of two qualified witnesses who are not related to you, not your healthcare agent, and not responsible for your medical care. They must also sign the document.
  5. Distribute copies: Provide copies of the signed living will to your healthcare agent, primary healthcare provider, family members, and other relevant individuals involved in your healthcare.
  6. Discuss with loved ones: Communicate your wishes with your family, loved ones, and healthcare providers. It is important to have open and honest discussions to ensure everyone understands your healthcare preferences.
  7. Keep the document accessible: Store the original, signed living will in a safe and accessible place, and inform your healthcare agent, family members, and healthcare providers of its location.
  8. Review and update as needed: Review your living will to ensure it aligns with your current wishes. Update the document if there are any changes or if you wish to revise your instructions.

Let Us Help You Prepare Your Living Will

My Living Wishes’ experienced staff understands the various requirements for preparing living wills in North Carolina. We will help guide you through the process, answer any questions, and help prepare your end-of-life documents. If you’re ready to discuss your living will with a caring professional, we encourage you to contact us today