Power of Attorney in Springfield, MA
Have you ever wondered who would take care of your finances or make decisions for you if you were unable to do so for yourself? Don’t worry about leaving it up to whoever the law says has this right. Look into securing a power of attorney. This legal document can help you prepare for any situation where you may need someone else to make decisions for you. With the help of an attorney in Springfield, Massachusetts you can easily set one up and get peace of mind today.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
The American Bar Association defines power of attorney as a document that gives someone power to act on your behalf as a legal agent. This authority can be either temporary, or permanent. The result is that your designated agent can manage your affairs without your written approval.
Why Would You Need a Power of Attorney?
One of the reasons why you may pursue a POA is for convenience. For example, you may rather have someone manage your assets without securing your approval each time. Any Massachusetts POA can circumvent checks and balance steps, and allow someone to act on your behalf.
Another reason for a POA is if you are unable to make legally sound decisions. A POA provides you with security, giving a person of your choosing the power to act for you. This arrangement is typical for senior citizens. It’s also common for people with severe physical or mental conditions that prevent them from making decisions.
Types of Power of Attorney In Springfield, Massachusetts
Not every POA grants the same powers to your agent. In fact, you can choose from a variety of different POAs. This allows you to cater to what best suits your situation.
General Power of Attorney
A general POA grants an array of powers to the agent. This can include:
- The ability to handle your financial matters and accounts
- Power to manage your insurance needs
- The ability to operate your business
- The ability to make business decisions on your behalf
- Power to hire or fire employees
- The ability to settle claims against you
- The ability to change your estate plan.
You may use this type of POA if you will be away for an extended period and need legal representation in Springfield, MA to handle your affairs. This legal arrangement may happen during your absence. It may also occur in a situation where you cannot make the decisions on your own due to an illness or injury.
Special Power of Attorney
A special POA is more specific, giving you the power to sign off on distinct powers granted to your agent. For example, if you only want someone to sign off on real estate deals, a limited power of attorney would be proper. You may also choose to use a special POA when you don’t have the time to deal with specific affairs due to time or health constraints.
Springfield general and financial POAs fall under the provisions of Massachusetts’ Uniform Probate Code. Unlike some states, the Massachusetts Code does not contain a sample POA form. Therefore, you can use a generic template or have your attorney create the document for you. For health care POAs, Springfield residents can look to Massachusetts’ Health Care Proxies laws. Your health care proxy document must:
- Identify the agent
- State their authority to make health care decisions
- Describe any limitations on that authority
Health Care Power of Attorney
This type of POA grants your agent the right to make all medical decisions on your behalf. It comes in handy when you are not conscious or are otherwise unable to make decisions regarding your health care. While state laws can differ, your POA could have the ability to make serious decisions, like ending life support.
You may want to use a health care POA if you are elderly or sick. It’s possible you could find yourself in a situation where you can’t make decisions on your own. A Power of attorney can transfer to your child or someone you trust so that care can continue in your best interests.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney (DPOA), enables the agent to control specified functions. DPOAs are useful if you anticipate losing your mental faculties, such as after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. In essence, it acts as a preventative safeguard.
Springfield POAs are not durable by default. Instead, Massachusetts law requires them to state that they are not affected by the subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal. In addition, the law does not technically require that you sign the document in the presence of a notary or any witnesses. However, many financial institutions require a notary stamp, regardless of the state laws. On the other hand, execution of a health care proxy requires the presence of two witnesses.
Choosing an Agent
The person you choose as an agent should be someone you trust. Often, people choose a family member as they usually have your best interests in mind and are close to you. However, you can select any individual to be your POA. Keep in mind that whoever you choose will be in charge of managing your affairs. This should be someone you trust to honor your wishes.
Appointing Multiple Agents
As a principal, in Springfield, MA you have the right to appoint multiple agents. You decide whether these agents act together or make separate decisions. Having two or more agents establishes a system of checks and balances. This procedure keeps one agent from making too rash of a judgment. However, it can also lead to discrepancies that may cause delays.
At the very least, it is crucial to have a backup POA should something happen to your primary. A successor agent can take control once the primary agent either passes away or cannot carry out the duties of an agent.
Revoking a Power of Attorney in Springfield, Massachusetts
You have the right to revoke your power of attorney at any time as long as you are of sound mind to do so. You will have to put your revocation in writing and file it with the same place in Springfield, MA that handled your original POA paperwork.
Another party may also try to revoke your POA. Although, that becomes a much more complex legal proceeding and would be difficult to prove in court. The person would have to show the agent has done something to jeopardize your interests.
According to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, you should revoke your Springfield POA in writing. In addition, under Massachusetts statute, the revocation is not valid until the agent receives this written notice. Conversely, it is much simpler to revoke a Springfield health care proxy. Under Massachusetts Code, you need only communicate your intent to revoke. This communication can be orally, in writing, or by any other viable act.
Using a POA to Protect your Interests
You can insert provisions into your agreement that force your agent to report to an outside party. For example, a family accountant or a designated medical doctor could fill this role. This arrangement adds another layer of security and guarantees that another party can review decisions.
In the event of your incapacity, a court may hold protective proceedings to appoint a guardian, conservator, or other fiduciary. Under Massachusetts legislation, you can nominate someone for this role when you create your POA. Unless there is good cause to the contrary, a Springfield court will make the appointment in accordance with your nomination. For the duration of the guardianship or conservatorship, an agent is accountable to the fiduciary just as they are to the principal. Furthermore, the fiduciary has the authority to amend or revoke the POA, just as the principal could.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File POA in Springfield, Massachusetts?
It is always wise to consult with an attorney who specializes in Springfield trust or estate issues. POA paperwork can be complex, so having a dedicated Springfield legal professional on your side is helpful. A lawyer can also help you add provisions that safeguard your interests when you cannot look out for yourself.
Work with an Experienced Local Lawyer in Springfield, Massachusetts
If you want to create a power of attorney, you should begin by speaking with an attorney. We can match you with an experienced Springfield lawyer that can help you navigate your POA. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Massachusetts state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!