Americans are living longer than ever, and with increased age comes additional concerns about how we will be able to live our lives with dignity and peace in our later years. As we live longer, conditions such as dementia can develop, and it can lead to a situation where a person is physically healthy, but his or her brain is not.

Dementia, as well as many other conditions, can make us confused and unable to make informed decisions when having health issues. Therefore, many people anticipate this possible outcome and decide to plan for it by appointing a durable power of attorney.

What is a durable power of attorney?

A durable power of attorney is someone that can make health care decisions on your behalf when you are going through medical issues. They will make these decisions based on what you have stated in your living will. These might be decisions based on whether you should receive medical care that prolongs life in a given situation, whether you would like to receive palliative care or whether you want to be resuscitated in the event of a medical emergency.

What is the law on durable power of attorneys in Massachusetts?

The law states that the durable power of attorney should have been assigned in writing on a signed document, with two witnesses present. They must be over 18, mentally competent and with no undue influence.

If you are considering appointing a durable power of attorney as part of your living will, it is a good idea to make sure that you understand all of the applicable laws.

Source: FindLaw, “Massachusetts Durable Power of Attorney Laws,” accessed March 22, 2018