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Michigan Elder Law Today

Friday, August 5, 2016

New Michigan Law Allows You to Designate Who Is in Charge of Your Funeral

Who will plan my funeral and resting place arrangements after I die?

For the first time in Michigan’s history, you can now designate a funeral representative who will make important decisions about your funeral arrangements and resting place after death.  The new law, known as the Funeral Representative Act of 2016, took effect on June 27, 2016, and is being heralded as bringing much-needed change to Michigan’s estate planning laws.

Prior Michigan Law

Before passage of the Funeral Representative Act, Michiganders had no control over their funeral or who would be in charge of critical burial or cremation planning.  The law gave priority to your surviving spouse, child, or another close relative, but you could not designate a specific individual to make these vital decisions.  For many, this inability to appoint a funeral representative caused conflict and uncertainty over whether their final wishes would be carried out.

Selecting a Funeral Representative in Michigan

Now, under the new act, you can appoint almost anyone to be your funeral representative, so long as he or she is over the age of 18 and of sound mind.  You can also name a successor in case the first person you name is unable to fill the role. 

You can designate who you wish to serve as your funeral representative in your will, a power of attorney for health care document, or in any document that is notarized or witnessed by two other people.  The individual you select will have the power to make decisions about funeral arrangements and the handling of your deceased body.

Planning for your eventual death and funeral is never easy, but taking steps to make your final wishes clear will place the least amount of stress on your loved ones and provide you with peace of mind.  If you would like more information about naming a funeral representative or developing a comprehensive estate plan, contact experienced Auburn Hills, Michigan Elder Law and Estate Planning attorney Andrew Byers at (248) 301-1511 today for a consultation. 


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