This article series examines how moving to Tennessee might impact a person's estate plan. The first article looked specifically at wills, and this article examines how Tennessee treats out-of-state medical powers of attorney and living wills.
Unlike wills, where Tennessee makes a statutory exception for duly-executed out-of-state instruments, the state has specific rules regarding the execution formalities of durable medical powers of attorney and living wills. In order to be valid in Tennessee, either instrument must:
1) Be in writing and signed by the principal
2) Have the signature attested by a notary public OR by 2 witnesses
Note: In either case, the following applies to witnesses: "A witness is a competent adult, who is not the agent, and at least one (1) of whom is not related to the principal by blood, marriage, or adoption and would not be entitled to any portion of the estate of the principal upon the death of the principal under any will or codicil made by the principal existing at the time of execution of the declaration or by operation of law then existing. The [instrument] shall contain an attestation clause that attests to the witnesses' compliance with the requirements of this subsection." TCA §§ 32-11-104; 34-6-203.
Because Tennessee makes no exception to these requirements concerning out-of-state documents, be sure to consult with a Tennessee estate planning attorney to ensure that these integral components of your estate plan will function as you intend after we welcome you to our state.
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