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Tag: guardianship
  • Judicial Relief under the New GS Chapter 32C, the North Carolina Uniform Power of Attorney Act

    On July 20, 2017, Governor Cooper signed Session Law 2017-153 (S569) known as the North Carolina Uniform Power of Attorney Act (NCPOAA).  This new law goes into effect on January 1, 2018 and applies to powers of attorney (POA) in North Carolina.  It repeals provisions in GS Chapter 32A that pertain primarily to financial POAs, including the statutory short form POA in Article 1 and the enforcement provisions in Article 5.  It creates a new GS Chapter 32C.  It does not apply to POAs that grant authority to a person to make health care decisions for another person.  Article 3, health care POAs, and Article 4, consent to health care for a minor, under GS Chapter 32A continue to apply and are mostly unaffected by the NCPOAA.

    The NCPOAA adopts, in large part, the Uniform Power of Attorney Act published by the Uniform Law Commission (ULC).  In both the uniform law and the NCPOAA, there are sections on judicial relief.  As noted by the ULC, the purpose of this judicial relief is two-fold: (i) to protect vulnerable or incapacitated persons who grant authority to another under a POA against financial abuse, and (ii) to protect the self-determination rights of the principal.  Uniform Power of Attorney Act, Comment, Sec. 116.

    The judicial relief provisions as adopted in NC are heavily modified from the uniform law.  This is due in part to the fact that the judicial relief provisions under the NCPOAA specifically list proceedings that may be brought under the act and allocate jurisdiction over those proceedings between the clerk, who serves as the ex officio judge of probate in NC, and the superior court.  The distribution of jurisdiction under the NCPOAA among these judicial officials mirrors estate proceedings under GS 28A-2-4.  There are proceedings that are exclusively within the clerk’s jurisdiction, ones that are initiated before the clerk but may be transferred by a party to superior court, and then finally proceedings that are excluded from the clerk’s jurisdiction that may only be brought in superior court.  The NCPOAA also sets forth the procedures, standing, venue, and appeal rights for these proceedings.

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  • Preparing for the Effective Date: UAGPPJA Resources

    Tomorrow, December 1, 2016, G.S. Chapter 35B goes into effect in North Carolina.  The law incorporates provisions of the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA). As I noted in this earlier post, it applies to all new incompetency and adult guardianship proceedings filed on or after December 1st and requires the court to ensure jurisdiction is proper under Chapter 35B before proceeding with the case.  Keep in mind that if a case is already pending as of December 1st, the court is not required to apply the G.S. Chapter 35B analysis related to jurisdiction for initial filings, even if the hearing takes place after December 1st.

    UAGPPJA, as adopted in G.S. Chapter 35B, also provides a new mechanism for transferring existing adult guardianship cases to and from North Carolina and for registering out of state guardianship orders in North Carolina.  The transfer and registration provisions apply as of December 1, 2016 to all cases in NC, regardless of whether they were filed before, on, or after that date.

    The text of G.S. Chapter 35B is now available on the N.C. General Assembly’s website.  Note the statutes were renumbered when they were codified.  Therefore, the statutory references in the session law, S.L. 2016-72, are no longer correct.  In addition to the primary law, I wanted to use this post to identify some other resources now available to assist with the implementation of UAGPPJA in N.C. Continue Reading

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