Press release from the N.C. Department of the Secretary of State:
A temporary waiver approved in May giving people additional flexibility in preparing Living Wills and Health Care Powers of Attorney is set to end on Friday, July 31.
These two directives have traditionally required notarization and the signatures of two witnesses. Senate Bill 704 was signed into law on May 4, giving people the additional flexibility of waiving the two witness signatures. Filers now have through July 31 to prepare their directives with only a notary acknowledgment.
Secretary of State Elaine Marshall notes that advance directives are more important now than ever. “We’ve long known how important it is for each of us to have directives such as Living Wills and Health Care Powers of Attorney, and the COVID pandemic has sadly made that need more urgent. If you’re in a nursing home or being admitted to the hospital, it’s more difficult now for your loved ones to visit, making advance communication of your wishes vital.”
Emergency video notarizations will be available to people preparing their advance directives until March 1, 2021.
The Secretary of State’s Office maintains a secure, online registry for advance health care directives. Directives filed on the registry are accessible 24-7 from any place with an internet connection. Only people who have your file number and password can access your directives, so it’s advisable to carry your registry card in your wallet and make copies for anyone that you want to have access to your directives in an emergency.