Share on Facebook
Share on X
Share on LinkedIn
By Jason Carrozza

Hi Everyone,

Happy Wednesday!!! This week we are talking about incapacity planning. Two key documents that make up a comprehensive estate plan are your Power of Attorney and your Medical Proxy.

  • Medical Proxy: A medical proxy allows someone you appoint to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacity. Your proxy can advocate for your wishes and approve a proper course of treatment. By not naming a medical proxy you run the risk of a family fighting. Remember Terri Schiavo?
  • Durable Power of Attorney: A Power of attorney allows somebody to manage your legal and financial affairs in the event of your incapacity. A loved one of your choice can step into your shoes and handle any of your contractual obligations. This includes accessing bank accounts, dealing with credit card companies, and paying your bills.

These documents are incredibly important because without them, a court can appoint what’s called a guardian or a conservator. Guardians and conservators are court-appointed persons, tasked with managing the daily affairs and finances of disabled adults that are unable to make decisions for themselves or their property. Typically, this is a family member that fulfills this role, but it can be anybody.

Recently, Last Week Tonight star, John Oliver did a monologue on Guardianship:


As you can see from the monologue, guardians wield an enormous amount of power over a person. For some individuals guardianship is an absolute necessity and is important to one’s proper care. However, for the ordinary individual, the need for a guardian or a conservator can be eliminated if you have a valid Medical Proxy and Power of Attorney.

As stated in the above clip, it’s important to have an honest conversation with your family about how you want your finances and affairs handled. By setting-up a proper estate plan you get to decide who manages your affairs, not the courts, relatives, or a private-pay guardian.

Please contact us today if it’s time to put your Medical Proxy or Power of Attorney in place. Fair warning, it can’t be Tom Hanks. 😉

Until next time,

About the Author
Jason M. Carrozza is a partner and founder of Family Legal Partners, P.C., previously owning Carrozza Law Office, P.C., which focused on estate planning, probate administration, and business formation. He was recognized as a Massachusetts Rising Star by New England Super Lawyers and Boston Magazine in 2014, 2015, and 2016, an honor given to no more than 5% of attorneys in the state. Graduating magna cum laude from New England Law and ranked 3rd in his class, Jason completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Tampa. He gained experience in civil litigation, divorce, corporate, and insurance defense law firms before opening his practice in 2004. Jason is admitted to practice before the Massachusetts Courts, is a trained family law mediator, and a member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation. He has volunteered for pro bono panels with Senior Partners For Justice, South Middlesex Legal Services, and the New Center for Legal Advocacy. Dedicated to his community, he has served in various leadership roles including vice president of the Bellingham Business Association and Master of Excelsior Lodge of Massachusetts Freemasons. He teaches Estate Planning Basics at the Tri County Continuing Adult Education program and speaks at estate planning seminars throughout the year. An avid baseball fan and history enthusiast, Jason enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with his family. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Katrina, and their children, Zachary and Madelyn.