Knoxville Power of Attorney Lawyer Helps Clients Transfer Legal Authority
Tennessee firm creates documents to put decisions in the hands of trusted agents
Sometimes, you might be unable to make decisions on some matters because you are unavailable or mentally or physically unable to do so. In that situation, it can be beneficial to give a trusted, capable person power of attorney to act on your behalf. If you do, I can help. My law firm, William E. Maddox, Jr. LLC, Attorney at Law in Knoxville creates personalized, enforceable powers of attorney for Tennessee residents.
What is a power of attorney and what does it do?
A power of attorney is a legal document in which one person, called the principal, gives another person the authority to handle some aspect of the principal’s legal, financial, business, health or other affairs. The power of attorney names the person authorized to act, called an “attorney-in-fact,” specifies under what circumstance and for how long that person may serve as attorney-in-fact and defines the scope of their authority. The attorney-in-fact is typically a spouse or other close family member, although they can also be a friend or professional familiar with fiduciary duties. I understand the legal requirements for a power of attorney in Tennessee and can draft a document that is legally valid and meets your needs.
Typically, people create a durable power of attorney, which has the advantage of remaining in effect after you become incapacitated. The durable power of attorney is therefore essential if you want it used to take care of your needs while you are unable to handle your own affairs. A non-durable power of attorney, on the other hand, which expires if you become incapacitated. You might use one of these documents if you want someone to handle a particular transaction or manage your responsibilities while you are on vacation. Your power of attorney can take effect immediately or “spring” into action only under certain conditions. I draft powers of attorney so that they can be in effect when my clients need them.
Powers of attorney can address various concerns, including:
- Financial — Creating a financial power of attorney allows your attorney-in-fact to make decisions regarding your finances, investments and property. A power of attorney expires on the principal’s death, but a financial attorney-in-fact might also be designated as the estate executor in the principal’s will.
- Medical — If you execute a medical power of attorney allows your attorney-in-fact to make decisions regarding your health care when you are incapacitated.
- End-of-life care — A living will is a medical power of attorney that includes directions for care at the end of your life, usually with instructions on what care to allow.
Regardless of your particular objectives, I will draft the power of attorney document that suits your needs.
What is the attorney-in-fact’s responsibility?
An attorney-in-fact may make any decision the power of attorney authorizes them to make, but they have a special responsibility to act in the interests of the principal, not to benefit themselves at the principal’s expense. If they violate that duty, a court can remove them and they might even be sued or prosecuted for their mistakes or wrongdoing. The principal is also free to revoke the power of attorney, as long as they’re still competent. However, it’s wisest to choose your attorney-in-fact well in the first place. I draft powers of attorney that give the attorney-in-fact the authority they need, while limiting the possibility of abuse.
Contact a Knoxville lawyer for a free consultation about creating a power of attorney
William E. Maddox, Jr. LLC, Attorney at Law in Knoxville prepares power of attorney document for Tennessee clients. Please call me at 865-293-4953 or toll free at 865-293-4953 to schedule a free consultation regarding your options. You can also reach me online.