FirstHealth of the Carolinas

The Facts about Advance Directives

  • Advance Directives DO NOT cost a lot of money to complete. The forms are free and there is no cost to file your Advance Directives with the FirstHealth hospitals. There may be a nominal fee to have the document notarized.
  • Even if you’re not nor have ever been a patient at a FirstHealth hospital, you CAN have your Advance Directives on file for easy access if needed.
  • A Health Care Power of Attorney DOES NOT grant authority over your property or financial affairs.
  • Advance directives DO NOT sign away your right to medical treatment or put you at risk of being denied medical care.
  • Advance Directives SHOULD NOT be kept secret. It is best to discuss your decisions with your family, friends, physicians and clergy. Be sure that copies of the documents are given to the appropriate people and kept on file with your physicians and the hospital.
  • North Carolina Advance Directives ARE NOT always valid in other states. If the NC forms do not meet the requirements of other states, they do not have to respect them and vice versa. If moving to NC, be sure to file new documents that meet North Carolina regulations.
  • After your Advance Directives are on file at the hospital you CAN change them anytime you want by simply sending a letter to the hospital Health Information Management Department or by sending in new documents.
  • Under federal law, medical facilities MUST inform patients upon admission that they have the right to make advance directives and have them respected.
  • Filing your Advance Directives with the state IS NOT required. But if you choose, you can file your paperwork with the state of North Carolina Health Care Registry. More information is available at


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