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Power of attorney valid after new Massachusetts probate code?

Hello. I have two questions. First, because Massachusetts has a new probate code now I'm wondering if my old durable power of attorney is still valid? The old one specifically talks about Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 201B which I understand is being repealed in part. Also, if I make a new power of attorney, I understand it should be durable but can I specifically list the powers I wish to give to the agent? Thank you very much for any help you can offer.

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Yes, you are correct regarding your old power of attorney.  Because the old law was repealed and your current power of attorney specifically references that law, I would play it safe and execute a new document. I don't know of any case law on this point, but why take a chance.

Regarding your second question, you can certainly enumerate the powers you wish to give to your agent, AKA attorney in fact.  In fact, because there are sometimes instances where banks or other financial institutions resist honoring a power of attorney unless the document specifically mentions the type of action the agent is attempting to perform, attorneys sometimes draft very long POA that list a multitude of powers.  I'm not advocating that approach, but a short list of powers you wish your agent to have, preceded by some language that indicates the granted powers include but are not limited to those included in the list, certainly could not hurt.  As always, when making changes to your estate plan, it's always a good idea to talk to an estate planning or elder law attorney.  Good luck.



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