Table of Contents
- Download a Michigan Power of Attorney Template
- Michigan Power of Attorney Requirements
- Developing and Authenticating a Michigan POA
- Types of Power of Attorney Documents
- Can a POA be Revoked?
- Who Has Authorization to Handle Medical Decisions?
1. Download a Michigan Power of Attorney Template
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2. Michigan Power of Attorney Requirements
In Michigan, a valid power of attorney (POA) can protect a person’s family and assets if an injury or another circumstance prevents that individual from making serious financial or business decisions on his/her own.
A written legal document that gives another person the power to handle a variety of real estate, business, and financial matters is a power of attorney agreement. Unlike in many other states where the person granted powers on behalf of a principal is also referred to as agent, that is not the case in Michigan.
How much or how little power an attorney-in-fact gets is up to the principal who requests and signs off on the agreement. An attorney-in-fact may be granted the power to purchase or sell real estate, make bank withdrawals, or sign business documents when the principal cannot do so.
Power of Attorney PDF Sample
The power of attorney (POA) sample below gives “Agent” Dolly J Thomas the authority to make financial decisions in the event that “Principal” Gil N Robinson is incapacitated. Dolly has the authority to handle issues dealing with Gil’s property, stocks, insurance, and business.Michigan Power of Attorney (Financial)
3. Developing and Authenticating a Michigan POA
Since Michigan does not offer any type of standardized power of attorney form, individuals are encouraged to create their own.
To certify the legitimacy of a power of attorney document in Michigan, it must comply with Section 700.5501 of Michigan Compiled Laws, Estates and Protected Individuals Code Act 386 of 1998. Also, it must include:
- The principal’s complete name and address
- The complete name and address of the attorney-in-fact
- The date the agreement was signed
- The specific powers granted and when their powers begin and end
- The signature of the principal or a notary public in the presence and on the behalf of the principal
- The signature of a notary public or two witnesses (neither of which can be the attorney-in-fact)
- The date of when powers begin and expire
Reasons to Create a Power of Attorney Document
Any Michigan resident who is 18 or older and, for example, owns property or other assets, has a bank account, runs a business, or has a retirement fund should create a power of attorney.
A POA document allows an individual’s business and financial duties to be handled by a person of his/her choosing when the principal cannot do it. This type of legal document is especially useful if a person suddenly gets sick, suffers a serious accident, or another emergency, leaving the individual either physically or mentally unable to handle these important duties.
Spouses, companions, and other relatives must request a court proceeding for conservatorship to handle business and financial matters if individuals become incapacitated and do not have valid power of attorney documents. In these situations, the court decides who gets granted the power to handle the affairs.
4. Types of Power of Attorney Documents
Durable and Springing POAs
Michigan allows for both durable and springing power of attorney forms. A durable power of attorney remains valid when a principal becomes incompetent or incapacitated. In many instances, durable POAs take effect immediately unless noted otherwise. Any durable POA should include this statement, “This power of attorney is not affected by the principal’s subsequent disability or incapacity, or by the lapse of time.”
Legal written documents that “spring into effect” after a principal becomes mentally incapacitated are called springing power of attorney documents. A springing POA should include the following statement, “This power of attorney is effective upon the disability or incapacity of the principal.”
Types of Powers an Attorney-In-Fact Can Handle
Since Michigan offers no guidance in terms of the powers an attorney-in-fact may be granted, it is up to the principal to select what is included in the POA document. In many situations, a principal will authorize an attorney-in-fact to handle all or some of the following powers:
- Claim property, such as inheritance
- Manage pension or 401(k) accounts
- Use assets to cover the cost of the principal and his/her family’s expenses
- Handle real estate transactions
- Handle daily business operations
- Sign business documents
- Manage Social Security, Medicare, civil service, or military service benefits
- Use funds to invest in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds
- Handle banking transactions
- Buy and sell annuities and/or insurance policies
- File and pay personal or income taxes
In Michigan, a POA does not require a legal description of real estate when attorney-in-fact is authorized to handle real estate transactions.
An attorney-in-fact must take reasonable steps to follow a principal’s instructions and maintain records of his/her actions, including receipts, transactions, disbursements, and investments.
If principals want attorneys-in-fact to receive “reasonable compensation” for their service, they must make note of it in the POA document.
Unless specifically noted in the POA or by judicial order, an attorney-in-fact may not make gifts of all or parts of the principal’s assets or create an account or other asset that the principal and the attorney-in-fact jointly possess.
5. Can a POA be Revoked?
In Michigan, even in death, a power of attorney is not revoked “without notice.” The state does not define notice, explain whether it must be in writing, and it does not provide a sample or downloadable revocation power of attorney form. Instead, individuals are required to create their own.
6. Who Has Authorization to Handle Medical Decisions?
In Michigan, a power of attorney does not grant any person the authority to handle another’s health or medical decisions. These duties would need to be outlined in a medical power of attorney document or other type of health directive.
Michigan’s version of a health care directive is the Designation of Patient Advocate. It gives a designated advocate the power to make medical decisions for patients who are mentally or physically incapable of making them.
Similar to its POA laws, the Michigan Designation of Patient Advocate is both durable and springing. The state does not provide its own designation of patient advocate form. An individual can create his/her own document as long as it adheres to Section 700.5506 of Michigan Compiled Laws, Estates and Protected Individuals Code Act 386 of 1998. A patient can give the advocate power to accept or deny certain treatments or to remove life support.
A valid document must include:
- The patient’s name
- The patient advocate’s name
- The date of the agreement
- The signature of the principal and the patient advocate
- The signature of two witnesses
Additionally, the document must be made part of the patient’s medical record.