Advanced Medical and Financial Directives in Cape Cod & Plymouth
Serving Clients in Southeastern Massachusetts
Durable Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is an instrument through which you may designate someone to act as your agent or attorney-in-fact to perform certain acts on your behalf. If the instrument is properly drafted as a durable power of attorney, the document will remain in force if you become unable to act on your own behalf, incapacitated, or incompetent. Having a durable power of attorney in force can avoid having the court step in to appoint a guardian or conservator for the management of your assets.
If your spouse signs a durable power of attorney naming you as the attorney-in-fact, you would be allowed to sign for your spouse if she or he were incapacitated. It would empower you to sign income tax returns on your spouse’s behalf and to be the recipient of certain of your spouse’s benefits, such as Social Security payments.
Health Care Proxy
A Massachusetts Health Care Proxy is a document in which you name one or more persons to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself. It is important to have the proper documents in place so that someone you choose can make decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated. The agent you name can speak on your behalf about the goals of your care and what treatments you may or may not want. While extremely important, a health care proxy is simple to produce.
A HIPAA Authorization is a simple form that permits one or more persons of your choosing to access your medical records. The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that limits the sharing of information about your medical records. Without a HIPAA authorization in place, even family members may be prevented from seeing your medical records, which will make their decision-making difficult.