Tennessee may require you to sign certain documents to transfer a vehicle title, register a vehicle, or obtain information on a vehicle. If someone can’t be there in person to sign the proper paperwork, you may still be able to accomplish everything you need by getting appointed to act for the other person under a power of attorney.
Uses for a Power of Attorney
Determine whether a power of attorney is appropriate for your situation. A power of attorney is a document that allows you, serving as agent or attorney-in-fact, to act on someone else's behalf. For you to receive this power, the other person, called the grantor, must sign the power of attorney document while he is legally competent, which means he is not mentally incapacitated. Therefore, you will not be able to obtain a power of attorney if the grantor is unwilling or unable to sign it.
Power of Attorney Form
If you only need a power of attorney for vehicle transactions, you can obtain this form from the Tennessee Department of Revenue website. However, if the grantor wants to give you additional powers, you may wish to visit an online legal document provider for a more thorough form that fits your specific needs. Ensure the power of attorney lists the grantor's name, address, details about the vehicle, specific authority the grantor is giving you, and your name and address. Vehicle dealers use a special form, so you should obtain that form directly from the Tennessee Department of Revenue if you or the grantor are a vehicle dealer.
Have the grantor sign the power of attorney in front of a notary public. A notary is a person licensed by the state with the power to administer oaths and formalize certain legal documents. The notary signs the power of attorney to verify that the grantor personally signed the document and the notary verified the grantor's identity by checking his driver’s license or other identification. Many banks and legal offices provide notary services, and the Tennessee Department of State maintains a list of notaries to help you find someone to notarize the power of attorney.
Responsibilities of Attorney in Fact
Act appropriately under the authority you are given in the power of attorney. Under Tennessee law, you have certain duties, called fiduciary duties, when you act under authority given to you by a power of attorney. For example, you must provide a report to the grantor about what actions you have taken to exercise your authority. Remember the actions you take under your authority as attorney-in-fact are just as binding as if the grantor had personally taken those actions.
References & Resources
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