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Healthcare Powers of Attorney

A Healthcare Power of Attorney (POA) is a critical legal document allowing you to designate someone to make healthcare decisions for you. This document is important if you become incapacitated or unable to communicate your wishes. In Tennessee, understanding the details and importance of a Healthcare POA can help ensure that your healthcare preferences are respected.

What is a Healthcare Power of Attorney?

A Healthcare Power of Attorney allows you to designate someone you trust to carry out your healthcare wishes if you become incapacitated. It is sometimes called a medical or durable power of attorney for healthcare. This document grants your designated agent the authority to make various healthcare decisions. Such decisions include consent to or refusal of treatment, selection of healthcare providers, and access to medical records.

Gain Peace of Mind With a Healthcare Power of Attorney

Having a Healthcare POA is important for several reasons:

  1. Ensures Your Wishes are Followed. By appointing a trusted individual, you can be confident your healthcare preferences will be respected. Even if you cannot communicate them.
  2. Reduces Family Conflict. It provides clear guidance, reducing potential conflicts among family members about medical decisions.
  3. Saves Loved Ones From Making Heart-Wrenching Decisions. When you have designated a Healthcare POA and put your wishes in writing, you save your loved ones from making heart-wrenching decisions about your care. This is so helpful to your loved ones during an emotional time.
  4. Avoids Court Intervention. Without a Healthcare POA, a court may need to appoint a guardian to decide on your behalf. This process can be time-consuming and stressful for your loved ones.

In Tennessee, a Healthcare POA must meet specific legal requirements to be valid:

  1. Written Document. The Healthcare POA must be in writing.
  2. Signature and Witnesses. You must sign the document, which must be either notarized or witnessed by two adults. These witnesses cannot be related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption and will not inherit from your estate.
  3. Capacity. You must be mentally competent when creating the POA.
  4. Agent Qualifications. The designated agent must be a competent adult. While Tennessee does not restrict who can serve as an agent, choosing someone you trust implicitly and who understands your values and wishes is advisable.

Creating a Healthcare Power of Attorney in Tennessee

  1. Choose Your Agent. Select a trusted person who can make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
  2. Discuss Your Wishes. Have a detailed conversation with your chosen agent about your healthcare preferences, values, and any specific medical treatments you do or do not want.
  3. Obtain a Legal Document. A Healthcare POA must meet specific criteria to be legal in Tennessee. We can evaluate your individual needs and prepare this legal document for you. In addition, we can discuss drafting any supporting documents, such as a Living Wiil.
  4. Sign and Witness. Sign the document in the presence of a notary or two qualified witnesses.
  5. Distribute Copies. Provide copies to your agent, healthcare providers, and family members. Keep the original document in a safe but accessible place.

Support That Evolves With Your Ever-Changing Needs

As your needs change, we are here to help with,

  • Revocation. You can revoke your Healthcare POA at any time while still competent. Your agent and healthcare providers must be notified of this in writing.
  • Updates. Regularly review and update your POA, especially after major life changes such as marriage, divorce, or significant health changes.
  • Backup Agent. Consider naming an alternate agent if your primary agent is unavailable or unable to serve.

We Can Help

We are here to help bring you and your loved ones peace of mind by walking you through preparing your Healthcare Power of Attorney. This important legal document is an essential component of comprehensive healthcare planning. By understanding the legal requirements and thoughtfully selecting an agent, you can ensure that your healthcare decisions are made according to your wishes. Call us today, we look forward to speaking with you, (615) 784-4800.