Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code – Some Changes Effective July 1, 2009

Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code – Some Changes Effective July 1, 2009


On January 15, 2009, Massachusetts adopted the Uniform Probate Code, St.2008, c.521. The new law repeals current chapters 189, 190 and 190A. Some changes are effective July 1, 2009, while others will not take effect until July 1, 2011. 
 
Matthew Bender’s Massachusetts Estate Planning, Will Drafting and Estate Administration is currently in production and will ship this fall. We will be bringing you all the information that you need to know about these important 2009 changes. From the upcoming treatise release:
 
Unlike most of the Uniform Probate Code, which becomes effective on July 1, 2011, the revised rules for Durable Powers of Attorney are effective as of July 1, 2009. The new act is very similar to the former Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act. Although the changes are few, they are very important because Section 43 of the enabling legislation (Chapter 521 of the Acts of 2008) provides: “Except as provided elsewhere in this act, on the effective date of this act: 1. this act shall apply to pre-existing governing instruments, except that it shall not apply to governing instruments which have became irrevocable prior to the effective date of this act …”. Assuming that a pre-existing durable power of attorney is a “governing instrument,” and that the pre-existing durable power of attorney is not irrevocable, the new law applies to such powers.
 
 
Sections 2A-2H to Chapter 201 of the General Laws allowing appointment of standby and emergency proxies are repealed, effective July 1, 2009. They are replaced by G.L.c. 190B § 5-103 which allows the delegation of parental powers by a parent or guardian to a temporary agent for a period up to 60 days. In most respects this appointment is similar to the appointment of standby guardian proxy under the now repealed G.L.c. 201, § 2B. It allows a parent or parents without court approval to appoint in writing one or more adults as temporary agent for a minor, similar to the “short-term emergency guardianship proxy or proxies” for a minor allowed by G.L.c. 201, § 2B.
 
Matthew Bender’s Guardianship and Conservatorship in Massachusetts is also getting ready for a release in December, 2009, and will have all new material analyzing the 2009 changes related to guardians and conservators.  Beginning July 1, 2009, guardians may be appointed only for personal decision making and will not have authority over a person’s property and conservators need to be appointed to manage bank accounts and property.