How to Obtain Power of Attorney in MA

By Marie Murdock

A power of attorney is an instrument signed by one person, known as the principal, authorizing another, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, to sign documents and/or perform actions on her behalf. The authority granted under a power of attorney can be broad or narrowly limited, depending on the intent. If you have been asked to be an attorney-in-fact for someone in Massachusetts, know that the appointment carries great responsibility to act in a trustworthy manor and in the best interest of the principal who appointed you.

A power of attorney is an instrument signed by one person, known as the principal, authorizing another, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, to sign documents and/or perform actions on her behalf. The authority granted under a power of attorney can be broad or narrowly limited, depending on the intent. If you have been asked to be an attorney-in-fact for someone in Massachusetts, know that the appointment carries great responsibility to act in a trustworthy manor and in the best interest of the principal who appointed you.

Step 1

Discuss the reasons or need for a power of attorney with the principal and determine whether you are the correct person to act as attorney-in-fact on her behalf. It is better for these conversations to be initiated by the principal, as Massachusetts laws against coercion or elder abuse prohibit individuals from taking advantage of another for their own personal gain. If, however, you are a child who is assisting with the day-to-day affairs of your parent anyway, out of love and a sense of duty you may wish to broach the subject to determine if your parent has or would entertain the idea of creating a power of attorney.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now

Step 2

Agree to accept the appointment only after fully understanding the ramifications of acting under the power of attorney. Understand what you are being asked to do and what responsibility you are being asked to accept. If the principal is appointing another individual to act on her behalf initially, she may have asked you to act as successor attorney-in-fact in the event that person is unable or unwilling to act in the future. If you would not be willing to accept an appointment as primary attorney-in-fact, do not agree to accept the responsibilities of a successor attorney-in-fact, as you may be called upon to step into the primary agent’s shoes in the future.

Step 3

Acquire the properly executed power of attorney that complies with Massachusetts law from the principal appointing you as attorney-in-fact. The powers granted in the power of attorney, as well as state law, will generally determine the actions you may perform on the principal's behalf. Laws prohibit using a power of attorney for certain actions, such as testifying as a witness for someone else or voting for her. Know what powers are granted in the document. The principal may have merely appointed you to perform one single act under a specific or limited power of attorney, such as signing the title to a vehicle or signing a deed selling property while she is away. Alternatively, under a general and durable power of attorney, the principal may have appointed you to perform any and all actions that she could perform herself in the event she is unavailable or incapable of acting.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now
Power of Attorney Obligations

References

Resources

Related articles

Power of Attorney Legal Forms for Alabama

A power of attorney allows one person, called the attorney-in-fact, to perform legal acts on behalf of another. It is normally used when the person granting the power, known as the principal, anticipates becoming unconscious, mentally incompetent or unable to communicate, and therefore unable to manage his own health care or financial affairs. Alabama's power of attorney law is based on the Uniform Power of Attorney Act. Only one form is necessary to authorize power of attorney in Alabama.

Types of Power of Attorney for Elderly Family Members

The health of an aging family member may determine the type of power of attorney she will agree to or is able to sign. A power of attorney is a document whereby someone known as the principal will appoint an agent or attorney-in-fact to act on her behalf. A principal often grants power of attorney to a trusted family member with a keen business sense so that she knows her affairs are being handled according to her wishes.

Power of Attorney for Real Estate Transactions in Florida

A power of attorney document may be used in real estate transactions in Florida so that one person may sign documents or make agreements on behalf of another. The person giving a power of attorney is referred to as the “principal,” and the person receiving the powers granted in the document is the “attorney-in-fact.” State laws often govern requirements regarding powers of attorney and their acceptance. People desiring to sell or purchase vacation homes or other real estate in Florida may be pleased to know that Florida’s adoption of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, effective October 1, 2011, may make it easier to use an out-of-state power of attorney.

Related articles

Can You Use Power of Attorney When a Person Is Alive?

A power of attorney is a document executed by someone referred to as a principal authorizing another person known as an ...

How to Become the Power of Attorney for a Disabled Person

A parent or other family member may become physically disabled to the point that it is extremely difficult to travel in ...

Difference of Power of Attorney & Executor of Will

The difference between an attorney-in-fact appointed to act under a power of attorney and an executor appointed to act ...

Can a Person Give or Turn Over Her Power of Attorney to Someone Else?

Although a power of attorney involves two persons, it is not a contract and can be unilaterally revoked. The person ...

Browse by category