Memphis Power of Attorney Lawyer Drafts Precise Documents
Dedicated attorney helps clients in TN, MS and AR transfer decision-making authority
There are times in life when we cannot act for ourselves, and we need someone to step forward and take control. When we’re sick or incapacitated, overwhelmed with other tasks, feeling the decline of age or simply unavailable, it might be time to appoint a trustworthy person to manage our affairs. This can be done by a power of attorney prepared by Parham Estate Law. In my Memphis practice, I carefully draft power of attorney documents that meet the specific needs of Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas clients by authorizing an agent to act on their behalf.
What is a power of attorney in Tennessee?
Powers of attorney are documents by which a principal conveys legal authority to an agent who can then make decisions and act on the principal’s behalf. These legal instruments are highly useful for individuals and business owners. If some circumstance makes it difficult for you to make appropriate decisions about key matters, you can grant power of attorney to someone you trust, so they take necessary actions in your name.
What types of power of attorneys are available in Tennessee?
Powers of attorney are flexible documents that can be tailored to your needs. That said, there are two major categories:
- Financial — Authorizes someone to handle your personal financial or business matters
- Medical — Along with a living will, this is part of an advance healthcare directive that authorizes your agent to make medical decisions on your behalf
You might also have heard about a durable power of attorney. This is one that remains in effect when you are incapacitated. You can also draft a springing power of attorney that goes into effect after a triggering event, such as an injury or illness that leaves you unable to communicate.
A power of attorney can grant broad authority or be limited in scope. While a limited power of attorney can give an agent authority to act in your stead for only a specific period of time or to fulfill a specific task, a general power of attorney can transfer full legal authority to another party. I draft all types of powers of attorney. I can collaborate closely with you and your chosen agent to create an instrument that suits your needs.
What does a power of attorney allow you to do in Tennessee?
As an agent, your authority is limited to the terms of the power of attorney. Generally speaking, agents are empowered to oversee:
- Financial management — An agent might manage the principal’s bills, taxes, stocks, royalties or other financial assets. This sometimes includes the power to buy and sell property. Older adults who are forgetful or susceptible to scams can benefit from having a loved one oversee their bank accounts and other financial concerns.
- Emergency management of a business — Business owners should execute a springing power of attorney to appoint a reliable person who could handle the day-to-day management of a business. In the event of incapacity, the agent can take the reins and guide operations until the principal is able to return, or an appropriate solution is found.
- Medical treatment decisions — When a medical crisis strikes, loved ones are often unsure about the extent of lifesaving treatment the injured or ill person would want. Every adult should have an advance directive that clearly specifies their wishes for medical care and grants decision-making authority to a person of their choosing.
In my estate planning practice, I prepare documents that address each client's specific circumstances and concerns.
When does a financial power of attorney end?
Durable powers of attorney terminate with the death of the principal. However, circumstances can prompt a court to revoke a power of attorney, such as:
- Agent misconduct
- Principal recovering capacity
- Agent becoming unavailable
- Evidence the principal lacked capacity to execute the document
- Fraud, coercion or undue influence in the execution of the document
If there is a problem with your power of attorney, I can help you seek a suitable remedy.
What are the disadvantages of a power of attorney?
There are two potential disadvantages to a power of attorney. First, executing a durable power of attorney could give your agent power over your affairs while you believe you are still capable of managing them. This could lead to discord or litigation. You can solve this problem by executing a springing power of attorney that only goes into effect when you become incapacitated. Secondly, your power of attorney terminates upon your death. This could sideline the person who’s been handling your finances in favor of someone unfamiliar with them. Of course, it is possible to appoint the same person as your agent and the executor of your estate.
What is the difference between a conservatorship and power of attorney in Tennessee?
Conservatorships and powers of attorney grant similar authority. However, powers of attorney are voluntary transfers, initiated by the person to be cared for. With conservatorships, the conservator takes the initiative by petitioning for authority. Sometimes in these cases the proposed ward objects to losing legal control.
Contact a skilled Tennessee lawyer for help with powers of attorney
A carefully drafted power of attorney can give you and those close to you greater peace of mind by making enforceable arrangements in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Call Parham Estate Law at 901-602-3361 or contact me online to schedule a consultation at my Memphis or Jackson office. My firm serves clients throughout Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas.