Michigan Power of Attorney

In Michigan, a durable power of attorney (POA) is a POA 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.

A durable POA in Michigan must be dated and signed voluntarily by the principal or signed by a notary public on the principal’s behalf..

The durable POA shall be 1 or both of the following:

(a) Signed in the presence of 2 witnesses, neither of whom is the attorney-in-fact, and both of whom also sign the durable power of attorney.

(b) Acknowledged by the principal before a notary public, who endorses on the durable power of attorney a certificate of that acknowledgment and the true date of taking the acknowledgment.

In Michigan, an attorney-in-fact designated and acting under a durable power of attorney has the authority, rights, responsibilities, and limitations as provided by law with respect to a durable power of attorney, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(a) Except as provided in the durable power of attorney, the attorney-in-fact shall act in accordance with the standards of care applicable to fiduciaries exercising powers under a durable power of attorney.

(b) The attorney-in-fact shall take reasonable steps to follow the instructions of the principal.

(c) Upon request of the principal, the attorney-in-fact shall keep the principal informed of the attorney-in-fact’s actions. The attorney-in-fact shall provide an accounting to the principal upon request of the principal, to a conservator or guardian appointed on behalf of the principal upon request of the guardian or conservator, or pursuant to judicial order.

(d) The attorney-in-fact shall not make a gift of all or any part of the principal’s assets, unless provided for in the durable power of attorney or by judicial order.

(e) Unless provided in the durable power of attorney or by judicial order, the attorney-in-fact, while acting as attorney-in-fact, shall not create an account or other asset in joint tenancy between the principal and the attorney-in-fact.

(f) The attorney-in-fact shall maintain records of the attorney-in-fact’s actions on behalf of the principal, including transactions, receipts, disbursements, and investments.

(g) The attorney-in-fact may be liable for any damage or loss to the principal, and may be subject to any other available remedy, for breach of fiduciary duty owed to the principal. In the durable power of attorney, the principal may exonerate the attorney-in-fact of any liability to the principal for breach of fiduciary duty except for actions committed by the attorney-in-fact in bad faith or with reckless indifference. An exoneration clause is not enforceable if inserted as the result of an abuse by the attorney-in-fact of a fiduciary or confidential relationship to the principal.

(h) The attorney-in-fact may receive reasonable compensation for the attorney-in-fact’s services if provided for in the durable power of attorney.

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