A recently revised Michigan Statute requires power of attorney “Acceptance” (and Other Formalities). Michigan law has long required signed “acceptances” for Medical Powers of Attorneys/Patient Advocate Designations. But now, the passage of Michigan Public Act 141 of 2012 marks a significant change in Michigan’s estate planning arena.
It requires that an agent appointed under a durable power of attorney for finances must sign an acceptance before acting, and it requires that such POAs must be witnessed by two people and notarized. There are exceptions for power of attorneys used strictly in business dealings and in other unique situations. See MCL 700.5501(7). The law should not impact the validity of existing POAs that have nonconforming Acceptances or no Acceptances. Specifically, MCL 700.5501(7) provides that the new requirements are not applicable to documents created before October 1, 2012. Of course, problems may arise in the future with institutions that refuse to accept POAs without Acceptances. Accordingly, it may be best to obtain new Acceptances, regardless of when a POA was signed.