A basic part of your estate plan should include a Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy.

1. A Durable Power of Attorney appoints a family member or other trusted individual to act for you in the event of a disability or other incapacity that prevents you from acting for yourself. The person you appoint can attend to your financial matters, including banking and dealing with your property, both personal and real property. In most cases one should be able to avoid costly Guardianship or Conservatorship proceedings in Probate Court by having a Durable Power of Attorney.

2. A Health Care Proxy appoints a family member or other trusted individual to act for you in the event you are unable to communicate and make healthcare decisions for yourself. A Living Will can provide valuable guidance to a health care provider that is trying to make a health care decision in your behalf. Although, a living Will is not binding in Massachusetts, the Health Care Proxy Law does, in addition to appointing an agent, one can express their desires or feelings on the subject by directing your health care agent not to employ heroic measures, and extraordinary or artificial life support if one is unconscious and there is no reasonable likelihood of recovery to meaningful life. You may also list specific kinds of treatment one may accept or reject. Both of these documents are important to provide you and your family with the necessary tools to make appropriate decisions without involving court proceedings in most cases.

The Stephen R. Manning Law Office has the experience and knowledge to help you draft a Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy that will carry out your final wishes as well as help you devise an estate plan that will protect your property. We serve clients in all counties in Western Massachusetts and on Cape Cod, including, but not limited to the Towns of Agawam, Barnstable, Chatham, Dennis, Hampden, East Longmeadow, Hyannis, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Monson, Palmer, Osterville, Springfield, Wilbraham, Worcester and Yarmouth. Our office is conveniently located at 200 North Main Street Suite 2, East Longmeadow, Massachusetts 01028. Call us today at (413) 525-1119 so we can help you with your estate planning needs.