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New Requirements for Durable Power of Attorney

In May 2012, Governor Snyder signed Senate Bill 92 (PA 2012, No. 141), which created new requirements for a general durable power of attorney (DPOA) in Michigan. The requirements take effect October 1, 2012 and do not apply to DPOA's executed prior to that date.

One of the big changes is that the DPOA must be signed, dated, and either witnessed by two individuals not named in the document, or notarized. Otherwise the DPOA is not valid. The agent under the DPOA must sign an acknowledgement stating the agent's responsibilities. The language that should be used in the acknowledgement is set forth in the new statute. Agents are also now required to maintain a record of transactions and, unless the DPOA states otherwise, an agent may not make a gift, make himself  a joint owner on any asset, or compensate himself for services as the agent.

You should review your estate plan with your attorney in light of this new law.

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