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Frequently Asked Questions: Estate Planning & Probate

What is a Health Care Proxy?

A health care proxy is a written document, authorized by M.G.L. c. 201D, whereby a person (the “principal”) provides another individual (the “agent”) with the authority to make health-care decisions on his or her behalf in the event the principal lacks the capacity to make, or communicate, such decisions on his or her own.  By statute, the agent is given a broad mandate to act on the principal’s behalf in making health-care decisions provided that the principal is incapacitated, except that such authority is limited by any limitations expressed, orally or in writing, by the principal and that the agent is required to honor any express wishes of the principal.