Tennessee Durable Power of Attorney Laws
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed March 12, 2021
This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy, clarity, and style by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and attorneys and in accordance with our editorial standards.
The last updated date refers to the last time this article was reviewed by FindLaw or one of our contributing authors. We make every effort to keep our articles updated. For information regarding a specific legal issue affecting you, please contact an attorney in your area.
The "durable power of attorney" is a legal tool that grants a named individual the power to make health care and end-of-life decisions on behalf of the person initiating the agreement. The designated person, often a close relative, uses this legal instrument to communicate with doctors and hospital staff should you become incapacitated and thus unable to consent to treatment. Tennessee and other states regulate this process, also referred to as a "durable power of attorney for health care."
While these are sometimes confused with living wills, durable powers of attorney are the legal authority to enumerate the patient's preferences listed on the living will. See Power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Wills for more information.
Tennessee law requires a durable power of attorney to be either signed before two witnesses or signed and notarized in order to be valid. It also must specifically state its authorization to make health care decisions. See the following chart for additional details, then find a power of attorney form tailored to your life.
|Code Section||34-6-201, et seq. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Act|
|Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts||Any procedure, treatment to diagnose, assess, or treat a disease, illness, or injury, including surgery, drugs, transfusions, mechanical ventilation, dialysis, CPR, artificial nourishment, hydration or other nutrients, radiation. Death by starvation or dehydration allowed only if specifically directed by statutory phrase.|
|Legal Requirements for Durable Power of Attorney||Signed before 2 witnesses and notary public and specifically authorizes health care decisions|
|Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney||Revocable by (1) notifying the attorney-in-fact orally or in writing; (2) notifying health caregiver orally or in writing; (3) executing subsequent durable power of attorney; (4) divorce if former spouse was designated; (5) principal's current wishes supersede durable power of attorney|
|Validity from State-to-State||Effective if the document complies with laws of Tennessee or laws of the state of principal's residence|
|If Physician Unwilling to Follow Durable Power of Attorney||Prompt and orderly transfer required|
|Immunity for Attending Physician||No criminal, civil, or professional liability for physician acting in good faith|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Tennessee estate planning attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
- Tennessee Law
- Official State Codes - Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.
Tennessee Durable Power of Attorney Laws: Related Resources
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.