A Massachusetts general power of attorney is used to nominate an individual (the “agent”) to act on behalf of someone else (the “principal”) and manage their finances. The agent is typically granted broad powers over the principal’s real estate, business entities, investments, personal property, and bank accounts. Regardless of the powers entrusted to the agent, their authority is only valid while the principal is alive and mentally competent. Massachusetts law does not specify a signing requirement for financial power of attorney forms. However, it is suggested that the document be notarized and signed in the presence of two (2) witnesses.
Signing Requirements – Not mentioned in state statutes; notary public or witness acknowledgment is recommended. However, if the power of attorney is made at the direction of the parent/guardian of a minor, two (2) witnesses are required (§ 5-103(b)).
Durable Power of Attorney – Authorizes an agent to represent a principal and manage their financial affairs. Unlike a general POA, a durable power of attorney does not terminate if the principal becomes incapacitated.