What is a Massachusetts health care proxy?

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We note on our estate planning website at The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen in Andover that the realm of estate administration is wide and diverse, indeed.

That is, it broadly encompasses asset preservation, lawful tax avoidance and heir designations and distributions. It also addresses charitable giving, guardian and conservatorship appointments, will/trust execution and many additional matters of key importance.

We directly pose this question on an introductory page of our site: “Who would you trust to make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated?

That query spotlights yet another component in many estate plans, namely, end-of-life considerations and attendant concerns relevant to major health matters.

We stress for our readers that planners in Massachusetts can take timely action regarding this often important piece of planning that will greatly promote confidence and peace of mind for both planners and their loved ones.

The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) makes an important point concerning the creation of so-called health care directives (also commonly termed living wills) in Massachusetts.

And that is this: State officials do not formally recognize them. That means that their instructions might not be followed in an end-of-life scenario or when an individual is otherwise incapacitated and cannot let his or her wishes be known to medical personnel.

What Massachusetts does recognize is a health care proxy, which we reference on the linked page to our website above. The MMS states that a proxy “designates another person to make medical decisions should [a planner] be unable to do so.”

A health care proxy can be a vitally important document. An experienced estate administration attorney can provide further information on the role — that is, the duties and prerogatives — played by a proxy (agent) and the requirements applicable to creating a legally enforceable proxy form.