Durable Power of Attorney in Massachusetts

By Mike Broemmel
a durable power, attorney, Massachusetts

Hand and document at the meeting image by Dmitry Goygel-Sokol from Fotolia.com

The Massachusetts Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act governs the creation, implementation and enforcement of durable power of attorney in the commonwealth. Standard forms that meet the legal requirements of a Massachusetts durable power of attorney are available from various resources including a bank or other financial institution for a financial durable powers of attorney and doctors and hospitals for durable power of attorney for health care.

Function

The primary function of a durable power of attorney is to designate an agent to act on your behalf in certain situations. Unlike a non-durable power of attorney, a durable power of attorney remains in full force and effect if you become incapacitated after you create the instrument.

Types

Massachusetts law establishes two general types of durable power of attorney. The law permits the creation of a durable power of attorney for health care and a financial durable power of attorney. You are able to create both types of durable powers of attorney. However, Massachusetts law does not permit you to combine financial and health care powers into one durable power of attorney.

Termination

You can include a termination date in the durable power of attorney, according to Massachusetts law. Additionally, provided you are competent, you can terminate a durable power of attorney at any other time. Finally, a durable power of attorney in Massachusetts automatically terminates when you die. You can terminate a durable power of attorney by destroying the original or by delivering written notice to the agent that her authority under the durable power of attorney is terminated.

Required Language

According to the provisions of the Massachusetts Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act, a power of attorney must contain specified language in order to be enforceable and effective. The required language reads to effect of:

"This power of attorney shall not be affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal."

The principal is the person who creates the durable power of attorney in the first instance.

Misconceptions

A common misconception about a durable power of attorney in Massachusetts is that the instrument remains in effect after the principal dies. The durability of the instrument does not extend beyond the death of the principal.

Execution

A durable power of attorney must be signed in front of a notary public, according to Massachusetts law. No other witnesses are needed.

About the Author

Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.

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