The Tennessee durable power of attorney (durable POA) is a legal document used for transferring powers from one party to another.
By using the durable power of attorney, the principal will authorize the agent to act on their behalf and represent them before governmental, financial, medical, and other institutions and third parties.
The main feature of a durable power of attorney is that it stays valid and effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated.
The principal can use the durable power of attorney in every situation when they are not able to represent themselves, either due to their mental disability, like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease or because they are located far from a place where they need to take a certain action.
Durable Power of Attorney Laws & Requirements in Tennessee
Laws & Requirements
Relevant laws: Title 34, Chapter 6 - Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act
Signing requirements: The Tennessee law doesn’t provide any mandatory requirements, except for the medical durable power of attorney, where § 34-6-203 provides that the document must be signed before two witnesses and a notary public.
Statutory form: The Tennessee legislature doesn’t provide the statutory form for the power of attorney.
“Durable” as defined by the state law: § 34-6-103 provides that “All acts done by an attorney in fact pursuant to a durable power of attorney during any period of disability or incapacity of the principal have the same effect and inure to the benefit of and bind the principal and the principal’s successor in interest as if the principal were competent and not disabled.”
How to Fill out a Durable Power of Attorney in Tennessee
#1. Designate an Agent
Firstly, you should determine the person who will act on your behalf and represent your interests. The agent should be an adult with legal capacity. Moreover, it should be someone you trust, especially if you are planning to authorize them to make decisions regarding your finances or healthcare.
After you’ve selected the agent, enter their full name and mailing address in the Tennessee durable power of attorney form.
In this section, you can also name the successor agent. Their role is to represent you in case the primary agent loses legal capacity or is, in some other way, unable to act.
#2. Grant Authority
After naming the agent, you should also determine their scope of authority.
There are three main methods for determining your agent’s scope of authority provided in the Tennessee durable power of attorney form:
Scope of Authority
General authority. If you select this option, your agent will be able to take all the necessary actions and represent you before any third party. You can also limit the general authority by providing a list of activities that are not included in your agent’s scope of authority.
Partial authority. Here, you can select the activities you want to include in your agent’s scope of authority from the list of actions provided in the Tennessee durable power of attorney form.
Special authority. This option enables you to describe your agent’s scope of authority in your own words. In this way, you can include the activities that are not provided in the durable power of attorney form.
#3. Ensure the Form is Durable
In Tennessee, the power of attorney is not durable by default. That means that you must use specific language to indicate the durability of your Tennessee power of attorney when drafting the document.
#4. Sign the Form
The principal should sign the Tennessee durable power of attorney. Although it is not required by law, except for medical powers of attorney, the principal should sign the document before at least two witnesses and a notary public.
#5. Notarize the Form
The notary public will confirm the authenticity of the principal’s signature and the overall authenticity of the document. This will prevent any future disputes with regard to authenticity.
#6. Store Your Durable Power of Attorney Form
After finalizing the document, you should keep it in your possession and store it in a safe place.
You can give one copy to the agent so they can prove their capacity to the third parties they are interacting with on your behalf.
How to Revoke a Durable Power of Attorney in Tennessee
The best way to revoke the Tennessee durable power of attorney is to issue a revocation letter. This letter should include the agent’s full name, the date of issuance of the power of attorney you want to revoke, and any other information that will individualize the document.
To make the revocation effective, you should send one copy to the agent and to every third party the agent is interacting with on your behalf.