Arguably, a Financial Power of Attorney (FPOA) is the most important document that anyone should have, also known as a Durable General Power of Attorney. None of us can predict the future, so we should prepare for the possibility of incapacity. Those we love most need to be protected and cared for if that happens. This is especially true for seniors who could become victim of dementia or Alzheimer’s.


A Financial Power of Attorney is designed to allow someone else to continue the functions of finances if you cannot. These functions include banking, paying bills, borrowing money, contracting, etc. Otherwise, a medically induced coma or car wreck could make your accounts inaccessible for months while family members scramble to comply with court orders to gain access to accounts. A FPOA can eliminate that stress and hassle.

How is a FPOA from an Elder Law Attorney different?

1. Immediate

We at Elder Law of Middle Tennessee draft a FPOA to take immediate effect as opposed to “springing.” Springing means that the powers “spring” into action when a certain event occurs, in this case, incapacity. The problem is that proving incapacity requires one or two doctors evaluating and then writing a letter stating that the senior does not have capacity. That takes time. Often families do not have time if they are trying to care for a loved one in crisis.

Instead, we draft FPOA documents that take immediate effect. This means that the FPOA can act immediately if needed. This does require that the senior trust the FPOA, but it also means that the senior can revoke it at any time.

2. Ability to Establish a Trust

Because we see families in crisis so often, we have learned the value in a FPOA being able to set-up a trust. This means that the FPOA can help a loved one qualify for long-term care benefits by possibly creating a Qualified Income Trust and/or a Medicaid Compliant Annuity. These tools can help a senior qualify for benefits of long-term care sooner rather than later. It can also save valuable assets for the non-institutional spouse who still needs resources to live on.

These are areas that require assistance to navigate. Please, contact an elder law attorney to help.

We Can Help

The good news is that you have options, and more options are available to you the earlier that you start your planning. Please let us help you to evaluate your individual needs and develop a plan that will give you peace of mind for whatever comes your way.

For more information, contact our Lebanon, TN office at 615-444-3568 and schedule your appointment today.