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The benefits of a health-care proxy in an estate plan

No one wants to think about a future where they cannot make important decisions for themselves. Whether they are unavailable due to illness, injury, or death, a person who does not have control over their own prospects may have concerns over how their wishes for the future will be respected.

In Massachusetts, individuals can take some of their concerns out of the picture by creating strong, sound estate plans.

One of the most important elements that a person can include in their estate plan is a health-care proxy. This tool gives the power to make health care decisions to a named individual in the event that the individual becomes incapacitated. For example, if at the end of an elderly person's life they suffer an accident and fall into a coma, their named health-care proxy may speak for them with regard to any life-prolonging measures that may be available.

There are specific requirements that must be met in the documents that establish health-care proxies in Massachusetts. One of those requirements is that the documents must be in writing and must be signed by their creators. Health-care proxies must be created by competent individuals which means that if the creators suffer from mental illnesses or defects their documents may be challenged later on as not fully representing their interests.

Health-care proxies are important documents for all Massachusetts residents to include in their estate plans. To begin creating them, readers are encouraged to speak with their estate planning attorneys about how to draft and execute health-care proxies and other important estate planning documents.

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