2012 Statutory Changes to the MI Power of Attorney

2012 Statutory Changes to the MI Power of Attorney

By Prof. Dustin Foster and Prof. Emily Horvath* 

2012 PA 141, effective on May 22, 2012, amended MCL 700.5501. However, a detailed reading of MCL 700.5501 reveals that the amendment is effective in two parts: sections 2-6 are only applicable to those DPOAs executed after October 1, 2012. This amendment served to codify elements of common law and practice procedures and was passed as part of a group of laws designed to prevent and decrease the incidents of financial elder abuse.

Excerpt: 

     Section 1 of MCL 700.5501 is effective immediately and is applicable to all power of attorney documents. Sections 2-6 of MCL 700.5501, are also effective immediately, but are only applicable to those durable powers of attorney executed after October 1, 2012 and those other power of attorney documents not specifically excluded by Section 7. The amendment added seven sections to MCL 700.5501. This amendment served to codify both elements of common law and current practice procedures. The amendments to MCL 700.5501 were passed as part of a group of laws designed to prevent and decrease the incidents of financial elder abuse.


     MCL 700.5501(1) provides the definition of what a "durable" power of attorney is and this section remained unchanged from the prior MCL 700.5501

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*Dustin S. Foster is an Assistant Professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and teaches Wills, Estates, & Trusts and is the Professor/Director and supervising attorney for the Estate Planning Clinic. He is a graduate of La Salle University, B.A. 1994, and of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, J.D. 1997.

Mr. Foster has lectured about estate planning matters. Prior to joining Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Mr. Foster was an associate with Bernick, Omer, Radner & Ouellette, P.C., practicing in the areas of estate planning, probate, elder law and family law. He is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the American Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, Oakland County Bar Association, the Ingham County Bar Association and member of the Oakland County S.A.V.E. Task Force (Serving Adults who are Vulnerable and/or Elderly) and Legal/Medical subcommittee member. He is also a recipient of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education Probate and Estate Planning Certificate.

Emily S. Horvath is an Associate Professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. She holds a B.A. from Michigan State University, James Madison College, 1994 and a J.D., cum laude, from Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University, 1999.

Professor Horvath joined the Cooley Law School faculty in 2005 where she teaches Business Organizations and Wills Estates & Trusts. Previously, she was an Associate Attorney with the firm of White, Schneider, Young & Chiodini, P.C. where she developed an estate planning practice for the 13-member law firm, including planning for young families, domestic partners, and estate tax avoidance. Professor Horvath began her career with the firm of Willingham & Cote, P.C., first as a paralegal, and then as an associate attorney. She has experience with trust administration, federal estate and gift tax returns, and Medicaid planning. She also represented conservators and guardians before the probate court.

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