Statutory Forms vs. Five Wishes: Health Care Documents in NC
North Carolina health care directives and powers of attorney are required in order for another person to make decisions about an individual’s medical or financial matters. As with most North Carolina estate planning and elder law tools, there is not just one way to prepare the necessary documents. Out of the options for advance directives and health care powers of attorney, which is better? Statutory forms or the Five Wishes documents?
- North Carolina’s statutory form for a living will and health care power of attorney are valid statewide. The documents meet the requirements of North Carolina law; however, individuals are not required to exclusively use them. One can file these documents through the NC Advance Health Care Directive Registry.
- Five Wishes meets the legal requirements for an advance directive in North Carolina. In fact, it is recognized in almost every state. (The only states that do not recognize Five Wishes are Oregon, Utah, Kansas, Texas, Alabama, Indiana, Ohio and New Hampshire.) Five Wishes is a set of forms that allows one to name a person to be their health care agent, and to check boxes and write statements in response to questions about medical treatments that one may or may not want under certain circumstances.