A power of attorney (POA) or letter of attorney is a written authorization to represent or act on another’s behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter. The person authorizing the other to act is the principal, grantor, or donor (of the power). The one authorized to act is the agent or, in some common law jurisdictions, the attorney-in-fact.
Formerly, the term “power” referred to an instrument signed under seal while a “letter” was an instrument under hand, meaning that it was simply signed by the parties, but today a power of attorney does not need to be signed under seal. Some jurisdictions require that powers of attorney be notarized or witnessed, but others will enforce a power of attorney as long as it is signed by the grantor.
A durable power of attorney is a power of attorney by which a principal designates another as the principal’s attorney in fact in writing and the writing contains the words “This power of attorney shall not be affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal,” or “This power of attorney shall become effective upon the disability or incapacity of the principal,” or similar words showing the intent of the principal that the authority conferred shall be exercisable, notwithstanding the principal’s subsequent disability or incapacity.
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The basics of the Tennessee General Power Of Attorney Law are fairly simple. By signing a power of attorney you are giving another person the authority to act on your behalf. Your power of attorney can give your agent broad powers or it can limit him or her to specific actions.
The law provides that other people may rely on your power of attorney in doing business with your agent. You will be bound by what your agent does through the power of attorney. This means that you must have a great deal of trust in the person you select as your agent.
Depending on the purpose of the document(s), some may require one or more witnesses. If your state has an approved form, you will be able to tell by looking at the form for what is required in the way of witnesses and notarization.
Not all states recognize the Uniform Power of Attorney. Therefore, many people and businesses are reluctant to honor a power of attorney. Some states have taken steps to eliminate this problem by recognizing a uniform set of documents based on their purpose. Click Tennessee general power of attorney form to view the Tennessee statewide legally accepted form
In Part 1 of the Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act, the Tennessee General Assembly makes it clear that the agent appointed to represent the principal, has full authority in matters business and/or personal.