Estate Planning and ProbatePowers of Attorney
Powers of Attorney
While having a Last Will & Testament helps you plan for the distribution of your assets in the event of your death, it is also critical to have the proper powers of attorney in place during your lifetime. These documents allow your trusted advisers or loved ones make healthcare and financial decisions in the event you become incapacitated. At Fidelis Law, we assist clients in setting up these documents in the form of a (1) General Durable Power of Attorney, (2) Healthcare Power of Attorney, and (3) Advance Care Plan.
Both the General Durable Power of Attorney and Healthcare Power of Attorney authorize an agent (or agents) of your choice to make decisions and/or sign documents on your behalf in the event you are incapacitated. Any signature of your appointed agent has the same binding affect as if you signed the document yourself. The specific powers of the agent are set forth in the power of attorney documents and, generally, allow the agent to take actions such as signing contracts, paying bills, transferring real property, bank deposits, insurance paperwork, viewing medical records, and making healthcare decisions. We work with clients to ensure that any and all specific powers they want transferred are properly identified in the documents, while also including other general powers in hopes that all necessary decisions are covered and you do not have to continually update your power of attorney documents. Please be advised that powers of attorney expire immediately upon the death of the principal. Any exercise of a power of attorney by an agent following the death of the principal is invalid and illegal under Tennessee law.
In addition to the two (2) powers of attorney we provide, we also assist clients with executing an Advance Care Plan. The Advance Care Plan, commonly referred to as a “living will,” sets forth your end of life decisions. This document allows you to take the difficult end of life choices into your own hands and out of the hands of loved ones. This document allows you to determine what conditions you deem as an acceptable quality of life and what treatments you want if you are in such specified conditions. Physicians that have a copy of your Advance Care Plan will strictly adhere to your instructions, such as determining whether to apply CPR, putting you on life support, treating secondary conditions, and/or utilizing feeding tubes and IV fluids.
We recommend that clients provide the General Power of Attorney to all financial institutions you are involved with and the Healthcare Power of Attorney and Advance Care Plan to all of your regular healthcare providers. Both powers of attorneys and the Advance Care Plan can be revoked and altered at any time prior to death. These documents are generally included within our standard estate planning packages. Please contact us if you would like to schedule an intake meeting to put powers of attorney in place.
Contact a caring attorney
Our firm strongly recommends legally establishing the desires of your family in advance with a comprehensive estate plan, which can include identifying a guardian for children, creating an advanced healthcare plan, and appointing a healthcare agent. However, if the need should arise to seek court appointment of a guardian or conservator, we can help. We will handle your plan with the same care that we handle our own plans. Please call our office at 615-370-3010 or send us an email to begin the conversation with us.