Avoid Problems and Update Your Durable Power of Attorney for Finances

If your current durable power of attorney does not meet the new requirements of a new law that went into effect in May of 2012, (MCL 700.5501), you should consider contacting an attorney to draft a new one. The new requirements include:

  • a durable power of attorney must be signed, dated, and either (or both) witnessed by two individuals (neither of whom is the person named in the document) or notarized;
  • The person you appoint as your power of attorney (agent) to make financial decisions on your behalf must sign an acceptance of his or her duties under the new law and the acceptance must include language that is substantially the same as in the new law.
  • A person acting as a power of attorney is now required by law to maintain records of their actions, including transactions, receipts, disbursements, and investments.
  • The new law provides for specific restrictions on what a person appointed power of attorney can and cannot do.

Banks and other financial institutions are required to follow this new law and you may have problems getting your old durable power of attorney accepted if it doesn’t meet these requirements even though power of attorneys drafted before May of 2012 without the new requirements are still valid. Consequently, it is suggested that you contact an attorney to discussing redrafting or updating your power of attorney.

Categories: Estate Planning

About Bill

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Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Bill Ager graduated from the University of Michigan and then served in the U.S. Army. He graduated from the Defense Language Institute and worked at the Army’s Freedom of Information Center in Washington… Read More

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