Should a Massachusetts power of attorney be a part of your estate plan? There are many reasons why several of these tools should be included in a file along with your will and trust forms. It is a common believe that your spouse should have all the power needed in the event you were ever in a serious accident and were unable to make decisions for yourself. This is not always the case, and one simple document can give you the assurance everything that needs taken care of can be, and in a timely manner.
In your Massachusetts power of attorney the person you are granting powers to is called the attorney-in-fact. This person can be anyone you trust, including your spouse. If your spouse is listed as your attorney-in-fact, and you were to get a divorce, be sure to void the document. While many states will do this automatically when the attorney-in-fact is a spouse, MA does not.
It is very likely your Massachusetts estate planning attorney is going to want you to include several powers of attorney in your estate plan. A general non-durable power of attorney with your spouse named as the attorney-in-fact should be there. This document, if for no other reason, is for general purposes. You never know when it might get used, but if that time ever occurred, chances are good it would be to late to create one.
There are a couple of durable powers of attorney that also belong in your estate plan. The first is a Massachusetts springing durable medical power of attorney. This document would give the power to make medical decisions for you to your attorney-in-fact. The durable part means it stays effective if you are ever mentally incapacitated, and the springing part means it is not effective until that time. If you were in an accident that left you mentally incapacitated, your spouse could jump right in and take over giving instructions to your care providers, without the interference of a court or a judge. This is a very important document.
A Massachusetts springing durable financial power of attorney is important also. This would give your spouse, or anyone else you may have appointed, the power to take over all financial matters for you. Just like the medical power of attorney, this one does not take effect unless you are pronounced mentally incompetent to make decisions.
As you can see, these springing durable powers of attorney become effective only if you are declared mentally unfit to make decisions. It is therefore very important they be created correctly. It's not likely you are going to awake from a comma to make a correction on a form. Legal Zoom has all the forms needed to make your Massachusetts power of attorney, and the non-durable type are pretty straight forward and easy. You may want some legal advice before doing the durable ones.
Non-durable powers of attorney are effective immediately but are automatically void if you are ever declared mentally unfit. These are used in the every day course of business. You may be in another state when a property you own is being sold, but you left behind a Massachusetts property power of attorney and someone signs the paperwork for you. The same can be done with cars using a vehicle power of attorney. A Massachusetts power of attorney can be used in many different ways, and once you get used to them, you may find yourself using them a lot more often.
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