Power Of Attorney In Massachusetts: What You Can And Cannot Do
Power of attorney (POA) is an important estate planning document. As described by the Massachusetts Office of Attorney General, POA allows another person to act on your behalf in legal and financial matters. There could be a time when you cannot manage your own affairs—ensuring that a trusted loved one has power of attorney can help to ensure that you are protected.
There are many misconceptions about exactly how power of attorneys works, including what a person can and cannot do once it is in place. At Fisher Law LLC, we want to make sure that you have the knowledge to protect your best interests. Here, our Norwood estate planning lawyers explains the key things to know about what you can (and cannot) do with power of attorney in Massachusetts.
Five Things that You Can Do With Power of Attorney in Massachusetts
- You Can Name Any Competent Adult as Your Power of Attorney
In Massachusetts, you have considerable discretion to select your own POA. You are not limited to picking a spouse or family member .You can choose any competent adult.
2. You Can Revoke Power of Attorney (As Long as Mentally Competent)
POA is not permanent. As long as you are still mentally competent in the eyes of the law, you have the right to revoke power of attorney.
3. You Can Pay Bills and Manage Finances as Power of Attorney
The trusted person who has been named Power of Attorney can use the position to pay bills and manage the finances on behalf of the other person.
4. You Can Open Accounts for Someone Else Using Power of Attorney
You are not necessarily limited to existing accounts. Power of attorney can be used to open new accounts on behalf of another person when appropriate.
5. You Can Pay Yourself a Fee as Power of Attorney (If Documents Allow)
As long as it is permitted by the POA documents, a person can use power of attorney to pay themselves reasonable compensation for their work.
Three Things that You Cannot Do With Power of Attorney in Massachusetts
- You Cannot Change a Will as Power of Attorney
Power of attorney can never be used to change a will. A will can only be altered by the person who created it.
2. You Cannot Change POA Documents With POA
POA also cannot be used to alter the power of attorney documents themselves.
3. You Cannot Use Power of Attorney After Death
Finally, you cannot use power of attorney to manage the probate process. Once a person passes away in Massachusetts, power of attorney is immediately extinguished. It no longer has an effect.
Contact Our Greater Boston Estate Planning Attorneys Today
At Fisher Law LLC, our Boston estate planning lawyers are is a skilled, diligent, and experienced advocate for clients. If you have any specific questions about power of attorney, we can help. Contact us today to set up a completely confidential, no commitment consultation. Our firm serves clients in Norwood, Dedham, Walpole, Westwood, and throughout the Greater Boston area.