Types of Advance Directive in Massachusetts Explained
Nobody likes to think about the possibility of becoming incapacitated, but illnesses and severe injuries can happen at any age. The best way to be prepared for such situations is by creating a health care advance directive. It can ensure your medical care wishes are honored by instructing your loved ones on how to act if you become incapacitated.
This guide will explain the fundamentals of creating an advance directive in Massachusetts.
According to Massachusetts law, an advance health care directive is a written legal document that describes the type of medical care you would and wouldn’t want to receive if you are unable to express your wishes yourself.
In Massachusetts, there are two types of advance directives:
A health care proxy is a document that enables you to appoint someone—called a health care agent—to make medical treatment decisions for you if you become unable to do it yourself. A Massachusetts health care proxy goes into effect when a doctor determines that you’re incapacitated.
Massachusetts provides the following guidelines regarding your potential choice of a health care agent:
|Who Can Be a Health Care Agent?||Who Can't Be a Health Care Agent|
||An employee or operator of a health care facility that you visit|
While it’s not a requirement, you may select an alternate agent to take over if the primary agent is unable or unwilling to assume the responsibility.
The agents should exercise their powers in any case of emergency, not just end-of-life situations. The decisions they have to make typically refer to:
- Pain medications
- Life-sustaining treatments, like tube feeding
- Hospital admission
To compose a medical power of attorney in Massachusetts, you must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind.
A living will is a document that lists your instructions regarding medical and end-of-life treatment if you become unable to communicate them yourself.
The living will is not legally binding in Massachusetts, meaning there is no guarantee that your wishes will be honored. It can still serve as a valuable guide to your health care agent or family members who are responsible for deciding on your treatment.
In Massachusetts, a health care proxy must be signed by two witnesses to be valid. While there are many samples of health care proxy forms available online, Massachusetts doesn’t have a standard form. To create a comprehensive advance directive, you need to:
- Think about all the medical care powers you would like to pass to your agent
- Select a health care agent
- Complete the form with relevant information
- Sign the form and let the witnesses provide their signatures
- Generate copies for your agent, doctor, and family members
Online templates may not reflect your health care wishes accurately. The good news is that you don’t need the pricey legal services either. DoNotPay will generate your personalized advance directives swiftly and effortlessly. You only need to provide us with basic details about your agent and health care instructions—we will do the rest!
All you need to do is:
- Sign up for DoNotPay
- Go to Advance Health Care Directive
- Provide the names of your health care agent and two witnesses
- Describe your medical care preferences
Once you submit your information, we will generate the documents in a few minutes.
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