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Quickly create your Massachusetts health care proxy forms template

You can complete FindLaw’s attorney-created health care proxy forms in less than an hour at home. Our guided process takes you through a few easy steps and includes a free HIPAA release form. You’ll be able to download, print and sign your documents in no time.

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Reliable Massachusetts health care proxy forms, fast

If you ever become seriously ill or injured, you may become unable to make your own health care decisions. Although Massachusetts does not recognize living wills, you can create a health care proxy instead. Through a proxy, you can designate a trusted person to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. Although it’s unpleasant to think about medical incapacity, it can give you peace of mind to know that a trusted person of your choice will make medical decisions for you if necessary.

Download the free Massachusetts Advance Health Care Directive Template on this page. This sample form is available in PDF.

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Written by:

Kimberly Lekman, Esq.

Contributing Author

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Reviewed by:

Tim Kelly, J.D.

Contributing Author

Massachusetts health care proxies to suit your needs

Health Care Directive

For One Person

A do-it-yourself health care directive that’s easy to personalize.

$39
What’s included:
What’s included
Step-by-step guided process
A health care directive tailored to your needs
Attorney-approved document compliant with your state’s laws
Free HIPAA release form
Free changes and revisions to your document for up to a full year after purchase

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Estate Planning Package

For One person

All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan

$135
What’s included:
What’s included
Last will and testament
Health care directive
Power of attorney
Free HIPAA release form
A comprehensive plan — for less
Free changes and revisions for up to one year after purchase

How it works

Create your health care directive in under an hour

Create an account

Create a secure account which is accessible through an easy dashboard you can access any time

Gather information

Decide who will be your health care agent/proxy, which treatments you would request or refuse and release your records

Complete your document

Answer all questions, then we’ll generate your digital documents for downloading, printing, and signing

Make it legal

Print and sign your document according to instructions. Give copies to your doctors and agent/proxy

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This free guide will help you:

  • Learn the most common estate planning terms

  • Understand the essential estate planning tools

  • Gather critical information with an estate planning checklist

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What’s next to make my Massachusetts health care proxy valid?

Follow these steps to validate your Massachusetts health care proxy:

Choose your health care agent

A health care proxy is a type of advance health care directive (“advance directive“). You can use this legal document to name a trusted person to make treatment decisions for you in case you are unable. The person you choose is commonly referred to as a health care agent or health care surrogate.

There are legal restrictions on who may act as your health care agent. You may not choose anyone who is an operator, administrator, or employee of a health care facility where you receive treatment. The exception to this restriction is if the person is related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption.

There are several other factors to consider when selecting your health care agent. You should choose someone who you trust, and who understands your medical preferences. You may also want to consider whether this person can be assertive with your family and medical professionals to advocate for your wishes. You may choose an alternate health care agent in case your first choice becomes unable to perform the task.

You may want to pick someone nearby, who can be at your side promptly when needed. Many people choose a close loved one, such as a spouse, sibling, parent, or adult child for this role.

Consider future health care issues

Massachusetts does not recognize living wills as legally binding documents. But you can still create a document to describe your health care wishes to your agent. Under Massachusetts law, you also have the right to limit your health care agent’s authority. If there are specific medical procedures you would not want your agent to consent to, you can make this clear in the health care proxy document.

Many people feel strongly about procedures like life support. This includes artificial nutrition, ventilators, and other procedures that can prolong a terminal condition. If you have strong opinions about these life-sustaining treatments, you may want to outline your medical wishes in a written document.

Sign your health care proxy

To make your document legally valid, you must sign it or direct someone to do so on your behalf. At the time of signing, there should be two adult witnesses present. Neither of these witnesses can be your health care agent. The witnesses must then sign your document. The witnesses have an additional responsibility to create a written affirmation, to verify that you appear to be over the age of 18, are of sound mind, and are signing voluntarily.

Distribute your health care proxy

After you have signed your document, you should make sure to give a copy to the important people in your life. You should also give your health care agent a copy of your proxy document to ensure that they understand their duties. Provide your health care professionals with a copy of your proxy. It is a good idea to inform your loved ones about your health care agent and give them a copy of the document. If they ever accompany you during a medical emergency, this will help them know who to call.

Update your health care proxy

From time to time, you should talk to your health care agent to verify that they are still willing and able to act on your behalf if you should become unable to make your own medical decisions. You should also think about whether the person you chose is still the person you trust the most to make health care decisions for you.

Changes in your life situation that could cause you to rethink your choice include:

  • Marriage or divorce
  • A long distance move
  • Personal conflict with your agent

In the case of marriage or divorce, you may wish to replace a former spouse or name your new spouse as your agent.

You may want to speak with a lawyer if:

  • Your family disagrees with your medical choices
  • You don’t know who to appoint as your agent
  • You have questions about life prolonging measures
  • You want legal review of your completed document
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Ready to start your Massachusetts health care directive?

Create my health care directive

Massachusetts health care proxy common questions

To create a legally valid health care proxy, you must fulfill certain basic requirements under Massachusetts law:

  • You must be a competent adult
  • The health care proxy must be in writing, identifying you (the “principal“) and your health care agent.
  • You must sign the document or direct someone to do so for you
  • There must be two adult witnesses present at the time of your signature. They should then should sign their names to the health care proxy. Neither of your witnesses can be your health care agent.
  • Your witnesses must create a written affirmation to state that you are over the age of 18, of sound mind, and signing voluntarily.

Your document must further state that it is your intention to give your health care agent authority over your health care in the event that you lack the capacity to do so. If you want to limit your agent’s authority, you must make this clear in your health care proxy.

Your health care agent’s duty is to make medical decisions for you based on their understanding of your beliefs and health care wishes in combination with consultation with your medical providers. If they do not know your wishes on a certain medical procedure, they should act in your best interest.

Your health care agent can generally make any medical decisions for you that you would have been able to make when you had the capacity to do so. This includes decisions about providing or withholding life-sustaining medical treatment. However, you can put specific limitations on your health care agent’s powers if you choose to.

Your health care agent’s ability to make your medical decisions only goes into effect if you become unable to understand and communicate your treatment options. This determination is based on the prevailing medical standards. Your attending physician must make this determination in writing and enter it into your medical record.

Once these requirements have been fulfilled, your health care agent’s authority would begin, subject to the limitations you laid out in your proxy document.

 

Yes, if you named your former spouse as your health care agent, a divorce would revoke this designation. If you have gone through a divorce you should create a new health care proxy. This will allow you to name another trusted person to make medical care decisions for you. You can create a new health care proxy with FindLaw’s easy process in under an hour.

If you would like to revoke your health care proxy, you can do so through an oral statement, through a written document, or through any other act that clearly shows your intention to revoke. To revoke your health care proxy verbally, you need to tell your health care agent or medical provider about your intention to revoke.

Although a verbal revocation is technically permitted under Massachusetts law, it’s a better idea to revoke your health care proxy in writing. This creates a record of your revocation for your loved ones and health care providers to refer to.

A good way of creating a revocation is to execute a new health care proxy. Any time you sign a new health care proxy, you revoke the prior one under Massachusetts law. You can create a new health care proxy document that revokes prior ones with FindLaw’s step-by-step process in about half an hour.

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