North Carolina: Every Legal, Medical, and Estate Planning Document You Need

Here's a complete guide to every critical medical, legal, and estate planning document and relevant state law for North Carolina. Download these forms and get started with Pillar to organize all of your most important documents in one safe, secure, easy-to-use online storage solution

February 2, 2021

If you or a loved one lives in the Tar Heel State, there are a lot of important medical forms, legal documents, and state laws governing how you disburse your assets in a will or trust. It’s a lot to keep track of.

To help you out, we’ve compiled this list of the most essential documents you need to prepare your estate for any medical, legal, and end-of-life decisions if you live in North Carolina. Start preparing you and your loved ones for the future with Pillar and keep every important document safe, organized, and ready to share when you need it.

Essential North Carolina Medical Laws & Forms

How to Get Your Medical Records in North Carolina

Under North Carolina law, medical records are technically the property of the healthcare provider who created them. Unlike other states, there is no official statutory requirement in North Carolina that provides a definitive amount of time that records should be kept unless a facility is registered with North Carolina as an ambulatory surgical facility, then it has to keep records for a minimum of 20 years.

Talk to your healthcare provider to ensure how long your medical records are kept.

Learn more about your rights when it comes to your medical records

How much does it cost to get your medical records in North Carolina?

  • $0.75 for the first 25 pages
  • $0.50 for pages 26-100
  • $0.25 for over 100 pages

North Carolina Advance Directives for Healthcare

Advance directives are not just for the sick or those in dire need for medical attention. It's important to plan your healthcare early so that your wishes are honored in case you become incapacitated. Advance directive forms in North Carolina typically consist of these four forms:

For an advance directive to be valid, each document must be signed by two witnesses and must be notarized. If you are at least 18 years old and of sound mind, you can create advance directives.

How to Become an Organ Donor in North Carolina

In 2020 over 3,000 North Carolinians were on the transplant waiting list. You can register to become an organ donor at the Department of Motor Vehicles in North Carolina or Donate Life NC.

Essential North Carolina Legal & Estate Planning Documents

How to Create a Will in North Carolina

North Carolina recognizes both hand-written and oral wills. Download this North Carolina will form and start planning your estate today.

Learn how to create a will and what you should include in your will

North Carolina Trust & Probate Laws

Probate is not generally required in North Carolina when a decedent transfers assets that were owned with a spouse, or for which beneficiaries were named outside of a will. If an estate enters the probate process in North Carolina, it generally takes at least four months.

Property in revocable trust, real estate owned as joint tenants, life insurance policies, bank accounts with Payable on Death (POD) or Transfer on Death (TOD) clause assets are typically exempt from probate.

Living trust and trust documents

A living trust document mandates disposition of an estate to avoid probate.

Learn more about the biggest differences between a will and a trust

Does North Carolina Have Inheritance and Estate tax?

North Carolina does not collect an inheritance nor an estate tax although you may owe federal tax on an inheritance.

Individual Income tax in North Carolina

For more information on North Carolina tax rates and laws:

Estate Planning in North Carolina

The estate planning process allows you to organize the transfer of assets and property to persons and charitable organizations that you want to benefit. Typical estate planning documents include; a last will and testament, general durable power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, living will and HIPAA Release form.

How to Obtain a Birth Certificate in North Carolina

The fees to get a birth or death certificate include:

  • $24 search fees
  • $15 for each additional copy
  • $15 amendment fee

The department of Vital Records in North Carolina has temporarily suspended walk-in services. But you can still obtain records of birth online at Vital Records.

Birth Certificate Application (Spanish)

How to Obtain a Death Certificate in North Carolina

You can get a death certificate in North Carolina online by visiting Vital Records NC. They also have a Spanish Death Certificate version available.

How to Organize Your Most Important Documents

Life can be complicated, no matter where you live. Create your customized account with Pillar and safely scan, store, and even share all of your most important medical, financial, and legal documents from one secure online cloud storage solution so you have everything you need for all of life's biggest moments.

Start your free 14-day trial and let Pillar help make the complicated stuff a little easier to manage.