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Choose someone to act in financial matters on your behalf by executing a power of attorney (POA). FindLaw’s guided process means you can complete your own POA quickly and easily.

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Do I really need a power of attorney in Tennessee?

You may be lucky enough to never need a power of attorney, but you never know when the unexpected will happen. Having a power of attorney can give you and your loved ones peace of mind that you will be cared for if you become incapacitated.

Powers of attorney allow a person you choose to make decisions for you without a court getting involved. If you do not have a power of attorney, a court will appoint someone to handle your finances for you, and the court process can be long, expensive, and stressful for your loved ones.

You also might need a power of attorney when you are healthy. For example, you might want someone to manage your property or a transaction because you are extremely busy or out of the country.

Written by:

Jocelyn Mackie, J.D.

Contributing Author

Bridget_Molitor_image

Reviewed by:

Bridget Molitor, J.D.

Managing Editor

Tennessee power of attorney options to fit your needs

Power of Attorney

For one person

A do-it-yourself power of attorney form that’s easy to personalize

$39
What’s included:
What’s included
Step-by-step guided process
A power of attorney that’s tailored to your needs
Attorney-approved document compliant with your state’s laws
Free changes and revisions to your will for up to one full year after purchase

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Estate Planning Package

For One person

All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan

$135
What’s included:
What’s included
Last will and testament
Health care directive
Power of attorney
Free HIPAA release form
A comprehensive plan — for less
Free changes and revisions for up to one year after purchase

How it works

The process takes less than an hour, and you can complete it from the comfort of your home

Create an account

Create a secure account which is accessible through an easy dashboard you can access any time

Gather information

Indicate who your agent will be and what authority you want them to have

Complete your document

Answer all questions, then we’ll generate your digital documents for downloading, printing, and signing

Make it legal

Carefully follow the instructions provided in the form, which may include signing your documents in front of witnesses or a notary

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  • Gather critical information with an estate planning checklist

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How to get a Tennessee power of attorney

Understand how a POA works in Tennessee

A financial power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to choose someone to make decisions for you regarding property or money. Most people use a power of attorney to plan for times when they are physically or mentally unable to make their own decisions.

The person who creates a power of attorney is called a principal. An agent or attorney-in-fact is the person the principal selects to make decisions on the principal’s behalf.

Choose how much power to give your agent

Your agents can have broad authority to make almost every decision you could make for yourself, or you can limit their authority to a specific transaction or specific types of medical decisions.

When planning for incapacity, you should make sure your agents have enough power to care for you and pay your bills. If you limit your agents’ powers too much, they will not have the flexibility to handle unexpected circumstances that could arise when you are incapacitated.

Select your agents

Your agents’ decisions may have long-term consequences for your finances, so you should pick someone you trust to be your agent under a power of attorney.

Your agent for financial and property decisions should be good with money and comfortable dealing with banks and financial professionals.

You also should select a successor agent to act as your agent if your original agent is unavailable or unable to serve.

Fill out your form and sign it with the correct number of witnesses

When you finish filling out your form, you need to make sure you comply with Tennessee’s signature and witness requirements.

Tennessee law does not require that you use witnesses when signing a power of attorney. However, you should consider using witnesses or a notary public to help your agent convince others that the signature on the document is yours.

Give your form to everyone who will need it

After your documents are signed and witnessed or notarized, you should give copies to everyone who will need them. Your agents will need a copy to prove they have authority to act on your behalf.

It also can be helpful to give a copy of a power of attorney to businesses or people you want your agent to deal with.

You may want to speak with a lawyer if:

  • You don’t know who to choose as your agent
  • You want to use a POA for Medicaid planning
  • You want to discuss which powers you should give your agent
  • You want legal review of your completed power of attorney
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Common questions about powers of attorney in Tennessee

In Tennessee, there are several types of financial powers of attorney:

Durable financial power of attorney

This is a financial power of attorney that is not terminated when the principal is incapacitated. If you want to create a durable financial power of attorney in Tennessee, your power of attorney must use one of the following two phrases (or similar words):

  • “This power of attorney shall not be affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal.”
  • “This power of attorney shall become effective upon the disability or incapacity of the principal.”

If you use the second phrase, your durable financial power of attorney also will be a springing power of attorney.

Springing financial power of attorney

This power of attorney does not become effective until a later date or event. Most people use springing powers of attorney to keep their agents from having authority until they are incapacitated.

However, you should think twice before using a springing financial power of attorney because your agent should have the ability to act quickly to pay bills and take care of your property. Determining incapacity can take time, and banks and businesses may be reluctant to accept your agent’s authority without strong proof that you are incapacitated.

Nondurable financial power of attorney

This power of attorney is terminated if you become incapacitated. You can use a nondurable power of attorney when you do not want an agent to have authority when you are incapacitated. If you have a nondurable power of attorney, you should have a separate durable power of attorney so an agent can manage your finances when you are incapacitated.

Limited or special financial power of attorney

You can use this power of attorney when you want someone to handle a specific transaction or type of transaction. You could use a limited power of attorney to give someone the authority to sign a specific contract for you, manage your investments, or sell your real estate.

You likely do not need a lawyer to make a power of attorney. If you have a good form like the easy-to-use power of attorney forms we offer, you can make your own power of attorney.

However, if you are uncomfortable filling out a form on your own, you can hire an attorney to create your power of attorney. You also can fill out a power of attorney form and ask an attorney to review it. You can find a licensed Tennessee attorney here.

As long as you have the capacity to create a power of attorney, you can revoke one. You should revoke a power of attorney by giving your agent a signed document stating the power of attorney is revoked. You should consider having the document notarized and give it to your banks, financial institutions, and any business or person your agent dealt with.

If you want someone to manage your parents’ money, you should talk to them about creating powers of attorney. You can help them fill out a form but if you do, you should avoid being an agent to their power of attorney.

Your parents must understand what they are signing. If there is any question about their competency, do not let them sign a form. Speak with a Tennessee licensed attorney. An attorney can discuss options for appointing a guardian for your agent.

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