Michigan Power of Attorney Forms
The Michigan Power of Attorney Forms establish the legal scope for an individual (referred to as the Principal) to entrust decision making powers to another individual or entity (referred to as the Attorney in Fact) so that they may take responsibility for one or numerous situations that may arise. A Principal may choose to elect an Attorney-in-Fact for any number of reasons, including, but not limited to, time considerations, their lack of expertise in handling a given area, or to prepare for both planned or unforeseeable circumstances.
What is a Michigan Power of Attorney?
A Michigan Power of Attorney bestows authority on an individual or entity known as an Attorney-in-Fact to act on behalf of a party known as a Principal in any areas and circumstances they specify within this legal document. That is not to say that the Attorney-in-Fact may perform in this important role without restraint or consideration. Once they have accepted the terms of the contract, the Attorney-in-Fact will need to uphold what is legally termed a fiduciary obligation. This essentially means that they must always act in the Principal’s best interests when exercising their responsibility.
- Michigan Power of Attorney Laws – (Act 386, Part 5, “Estates and Protected Individuals Code”)
- State Definition of a Durable Power of Attorney (Sec. 5501) – “a power of attorney by which a principal designates another as the principal’s attorney in fact in a writing that contains the words “This power of attorney is not affected by the principal’s subsequent disability or incapacity, or by the lapse of time”, or “This power of attorney is effective upon the disability or incapacity of the principal”, or similar words showing the principal’s intent that the authority conferred is exercisable notwithstanding the principal’s subsequent disability or incapacity and, unless the power states a termination time, notwithstanding the lapse of time since the execution of the instrument.”
- Signing Requirements
- General – State law does not demand the Principal follows any particular signing requirements.
- Durable Power of Attorney (§ 700-5501) – The form must be signed by the Principal or by a Notary Public on the Principal’s behalf. It must be signed in the presence of two (2) witnesses, neither of whom is the attorney-in-fact. The witnesses must also both sign the form. Alternatively, their signature may be acknowledged before a Notary Public. (The Principal may have witnesses and Notary Public present if they wish).
- Designation of Patient Advocate / Medical Power of Attorney (§ 700.5506) – The law requires that the form is executed in the presence of and signed by two (2) witnesses.
Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney – This type of power of attorney extends beyond the reach of a general type of POA as its stipulations will persevere even in the event the principal becomes incapacitated.
General (Financial) Power of Attorney – A power of attorney that will not be maintained if the principal is incapacitated is termed a general type of POA.
Limited (Special) Power of Attorney – This type of POA is most suitable for specific, rather than broad, circumstances in which decision making powers are assigned from one party to another.
Minor Child Power of Attorney – A child who is subject to a Minor Child POA must be taken care of by the party approved by the parents when the circumstances set forth in the form eventuate.
Motor Vehicle Power of Attorney (Form TR-128) – Once this form is filed with and approved by the DMV, another party may help to handle any matters that are connected to the principal’s motor vehicle.
Download – Adobe PDF
Patient Advocate Designation – In Michigan, a Medical Power of Attorney is referred to as a Patient Advocate Designation. This arrangement entails one party, referred to as the patient, electing another party, referred to as the patient advocate, to “exercise powers concerning care, custody, and medical or mental health treatment decisions.”
Download – Adobe PDF
Real Estate (Property) Power of Attorney – Using this form, a principal can legally direct another individual or entity to organize the buying, selling, or management of a property they own or are seeking to own.
Revocation of Power of Attorney – By completing this form, a principal can take back any and all decision making powers bestowed to an agent in a POA.
State Tax Filing Power of Attorney (Form 151) – Taxpayers who wish to avoid cumbersome tax filing processes can instead use this form to elect an individual or entity to take care of such processes for them.
Download – Adobe PDF
When is it Effective?
In order to put a POA into effect, certain signing requirements must be followed. The requirements of different types of forms, however, differ.
Not specified: There are no state-mandated signing requirements for the following forms:
- General POA,
- Limited POA
- Guardian of Minor Child Power of Attorney,
- Real Estate Power of Attorney Form, and
- Power of Attorney Revocation Form
Although not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that in addition to the Principal, the forms are signed by two (2) witnesses and a Notary Public.
Two (2) witnesses and a Notary Public: As stated in § 700-5501, to ensure the validity of a Durable Power of Attorney, the Principal must sign the form, or if they so choose, a Notary Public may sign it on their behalf. The signature must take place in the presence of two (2) witnesses, neither of whom is the attorney-in-fact, and/or a Notary Public must acknowledge it. The Notary Public must endorse on the Durable POA a certificate of that acknowledgment and the true date of taking the acknowledgment.
Two (2) witnesses: In line with § 700.5506, a Medical Power of Attorney (Designation of Patient Advocate) must be executed in the presence of and signed by two (2) witnesses.
Principal’s Signature: The Michigan Department of Treasury only requires the Principal’s signature to put a Tax Power of Attorney form into effect.
The Michigan Department of State also only requires the Principal’s signature to put a Vehicle Power of Attorney form into effect.