Legal Assistance

 

LEGAL AID OF NORTHEAST TENNESSEE
 

For over 50 years, Legal Aid of East Tennessee has worked to build stronger communities and improve lives by providing high-quality legal services free of charge to qualifying individuals. CLICK HERE to go to the LAET website.

Each year, LAET serves over 6,000 neighbors and help them access vital legal help. LAET provides high-quality civil legal services free of charge for qualifying individuals, including areas such as consumer, housing, family, public benefits, and a range of other miscellaneous matters. We are advocates for the elderly, for families, and for victims of domestic violence and work closely with our clients to help navigate legal challenges and seek out justice.

 

LAET also provides services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking through offices at four Family Justice Centers in our service area. If you need help in obtaining an order of protection against an abuser, or have other legal issues related to abuse, call one of our Family Justice Center offices.

 

If you are a victim of domestic violence and are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

 

You may seek an Order of Protection if you are a victim of domestic abuse or violence. Contact your county’s Circuit Court or General Sessions Court Clerk’s office. You should also contact law enforcement.

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LEGAL HELPLINE (STATEWIDE)
 
For assistance with non-criminal legal matters, older Tennesseans can contact the Tennessee Senior Legal Helpline at 1-844-435-7486.
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DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY AND FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY INFORMATION
 
For these two categories, seek competent legal counsel in your area. The complexities of these two forms are greater than that of something like an advance care directive. You will benefit from the guidance of a lawyer. 
Managing Someone Else's Money: Help for Agents Under a Power of Attorney is a free guide in PDF format from the U.S. Government's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). It serves as an introduction, a way for family and friends to begin to learn how best to watch over a loved one's finances.

What is a Tennessee Power of Attorney?

A Tennessee Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a trusted agent to act on your behalf. The Tennessee Power of Attorney form grants your agent(s) the authority to make decisions in your absence. Through this document, you can assign an agent to sign documents for you and manage your legal and financial matters.

When should I use the Tennessee Power of Attorney document?

You should use the Tennessee Power of Attorney document if:

—You wish to give someone broad authorization to act for you if you are absent or incapable.

—You wish to give someone power to handle certain financial or legal issues in your absence or if you become ill.

—You wish to authorize someone to act on your behalf if case you become legally incompetent or incapacitated.

Does a Power of Attorney need to be recorded in Tennessee?

Typically, a Tennessee Power of Attorney does not need to be recorded unless it deals with real estate transactions.

What does it mean to have Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney grants legal permission for another person or organization to act on your behalf if you're not able to do so. You can choose for your agent's power to begin immediately, on a specific date, or only when you become incapacitated. The powers granted in a Tennessee Power of Attorney can end either on a specific date or upon your death.
 

You may designate the Power of Attorney as "general," granting broad powers to control your financial, health, legal, and other matters, or "special," granting power for only specific situations.

The Tennessee Power of Attorney is specific to the laws of the state of Tennessee and should be created by residents of Tennessee and signed in front of a Tennessee notary public.

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LIVING WILL AND ADVANCE DIRECTIVE INFORMATION
 
You can use these documents to let your family and doctor know your decisions for health care if you become unable to decide for yourself. You can appoint someone you know and trust as your health care decision maker to ensure that your choice or decision is honored. A living will, originally designed to be completed when a person was diagnosed with a terminal illness, is an earlier version of an advance care directive document that tells a doctor how a patient wants to be treated.

Living Wills

A living will, originally designed to be completed when a person was diagnosed with a terminal illness, is an earlier version of an advance care directive document that tells a doctor how a patient wants to be treated.

Advance Directives or Advance Care Plans

Advance directives or advance care plans for health care replaced living wills. They are written in greater detail than a living will and list a health care agent to make sure instructions are followed. This is important because the directive supports a person’s right to make their own health care decisions. Advance directives help people state their treatment choices before they reach a condition when they cannot. Planning involves several steps to help people learn about options available for end-of-life care; determine which types of care best suit their wishes; and share their wishes with family, friends and physicians.

Advance care plan forms, along with several other documents, can be found online with the Tennessee Department of Health. Completed, signed and notarized copies of the plan should be given to a health care agent, successor agent, patient’s doctor, trusted friend, spouse, son or daughter.

Appointment of a Health Care Agent

Before individuals are too sick to make health care decisions for themselves, a health care agent can be appointed. A health care agent carries your message, your specific instructions about the type of care you want to receive. Individuals select friends, family members, an attorney, and sometimes a minister to be their health care agent.

 

Download or print "Living Wills and Advance Care Directives: The Differences" in PDF format.

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HELP WITH FILING INCOME TAXES
 
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grant program offers free tax preparation to qualifying taxpayers in Northeast Tennessee. All of the volunteers are fully trained and certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grant program offers free tax preparation to qualifying taxpayers in the greater Johnson City area. All of our volunteers are fully trained and certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

VITA was established in 2007 to provide tax services to those who are under-served in hard–to–reach areas, both urban and non-urban. VITA generally offers free tax preparation to people who make $64,000 or less and need help filing their own tax returns. Well trained, IRS certified volunteers have dedicated their time and effort resulting in incremental increases in federal return preparation each year and demonstrated efficient use of IRS funds.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

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