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Making a Living Will in Massachusetts
A Massachusetts Living Will is a document that lays out your wishes related to medical care, such as your request for or refusal of a certain medical treatment, in addition to the selection of a trusted healthcare decision maker or "agent."
The person making a Living Will is called the "principal," while the people or organizations receiving permission to carry out the principal's wishes are called "agents." Each Massachusetts Living Will form from Rocket Lawyer can be edited for your particular situation. This document will provide a record of your preferences to your agent(s), and it will certify that they have been given the authority to make choices for you. Under Massachusetts law, doctors are not legally required to follow your written preferences for treatment, however they must regard your agent's decisions as your own, so documenting your choices in a Living Will is still important.
It is very simple to document your medical wishes with a free Massachusetts Living Will template from Rocket Lawyer:
This method, in many cases, would end up being much more affordable and convenient than hiring a conventional attorney. If necessary, you may prepare this Living Will on behalf of your spouse or another family member, and then have that person sign once you've drafted it. Please keep in mind that for any agent to be legally recognized, the principal must be mentally competent when they sign. If the principal is already incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions, a conservatorship may be required. In this scenario, it's best for you to connect with a lawyer.
Everyone over 18 years old ought to have a Living Will in place. Even though it's painful to think about, a day could come when you cannot make medical decisions on your own. Here are a few common occasions in which you might find it useful to make or update your Living Will:
Regardless of whether your Massachusetts Living Will has been created in response to a change in your health or as part of a forward-looking plan, notarization and witnesses often help to protect your agent if their authority is disputed by a third party.
Making a Living Will is usually simple to do, but you or your agent could need legal advice. Seeking out a legal professional to give feedback on your Massachusetts Living Will can be expensive. A more cost-effective way to get a second pair of eyes on your document would be to request help from the Rocket Lawyer On Call® network. With a Premium membership, you can have your document looked at by an experienced attorney. You can rest assured that Rocket Lawyer is by your side.
The fees associated with hiring a conventional law firm to make a Living Will could add up to between two hundred and one thousand dollars, depending on where you are. Rocket Lawyer is not a run-of-the-mill Living Will template provider. With us, anyone under a Rocket Lawyer Premium membership has access to up to a 40% discount when hiring an On Call attorney.
With a membership, you may make edits, save it in PDF format or as a Word file, and print it. When you are ready to finalize your Massachusetts Living Will form, it must be signed. Your agent(s) and care providers should receive a copy of your final document.
In Massachusetts, there are no laws regarding Living Wills specifically, however when you are appointing an agent via "Health Care Proxy" (also known as Healthcare Power of Attorney), your witnesses must be at least 18 years old, and none should also be acting as your agent.
See legal references for healthcare decisions in Massachusetts: § 201D-2