Massachusetts Durable Power of Attorney Form
The Massachusetts Durable Power of Attorney is a contract that is used for situations in which a person (known as the principal) becomes incapacitated and needs decisions regarding their finances handled by someone they can trust. By virtue of its “durable” nature, an agent elected by the principal is required to continue handling the principal’s affairs, as per usual, if the principal becomes incapacitated. This contrasts to another popular POA, the General Power of Attorney, which demands that an agent relinquish his or her powers in the case the principal can no longer make decisions on their own.
State Laws & Signing Requirements
State Laws: Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (Ch. 190B)
Signing Requirements: Although there are no state-mandated signing requirements for a Durable POA, in order to provide the contract is legally binding, it is recommended that the principal sign the document in the presence of a licensed Notary Public, and, if possible, two (2) witnesses.
Conservatorship vs. POA: In Massachusetts, the courts can initiate a conservatorship so long a person petitions the court for one. A conservatorship is different than a POA in the fact that it is not filed before the principal’s incapacitation. The conservator (person ordered through the conservatorship) has similar decision-making powers to the agent and can be granted varying levels of power by the court depending on the principal’s needs. Additionally, if a POA is already in-effect and a petition for a conservatorship is created, both can exist at the same time so long the conservatorship is responsible for making separate types of decisions than the agent. However, by creating a POA before incapacitation, in most cases, this is seen as a replacement of a conservatorship.