A Massachusetts Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows an individual, referred to as a Principal, to legally convey their decision-making authority to someone they trust, known as their Agent. There are many areas that a Principal may choose to convey authority to another individual. Some of these areas may include granting the Agent the power to make critical healthcare decisions or to allow the Agent to care for the Principal's children. In the state of Massachusetts, all power of attorney documents must conform to the guidelines and requirements set in Chapter 190B of the Massachusetts General Laws. These laws require all power of attorney documents to be in writing, dated, and signed by at least two adult witnesses. In addition, any type of health care power of attorney must include the identity of the Principal, and the Agent who will be making such critical decisions.
A Massachusetts Power of Attorney is not a complex document but requires accurate information with competent witnesses to ensure that it can stand if ever challenged in court. The first step to creating a solid power of attorney document is providing information on the Principal. The Principal will need to provide his or her first and last name, along with his or her complete address to establish his or her identity. Next, the Principal will need to identify the Agent he or she is nominating. This means the Agent's full name, complete address and telephone number will be listed on the document. Next, the Principal will detail the responsibilities that are being conveyed to the Agent. These responsibilities can be limited, or broad, and depends entirely on the Principal's wishes. Once powers have been designated, the Principal will sign the power of attorney form and have it notarized by a state-certified Notary Public or two (2) competent witnesses.