Power of Attorney

Along with a will, everyone, at a minimum, should have the following two important estate planning documents.

Michigan Durable Power of Attorney — Financial

A Financial Power of Attorney is a written document authorized by Michigan law that allows you to grant another person the power to make financial decisions on your behalf. This legal document can be limited to a specific event or financial transaction (for instance, a real estate sale), or can be general in nature. It also can be made effective immediately upon execution or upon disability.

Michigan law has specific language requirements for Financial Durable Powers of Attorney, and if you do not comply with the law, it most likely will not be recognized by financial institutions or other entities when it is needed most, and that time is often after one has become mentally incapacitated and unable to make informed decisions. At that point, the only other option is to petition the Probate Court for a conservatorship, and that can be costly and time consuming.

It is extremely important to get it right the first time, and our estate planning attorneys can assist you in properly drafting and executing a Financial Power of Attorney.

Michigan Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care — also known as a Patient Advocate Designation Form

A Health Care Power of Attorney is authorized and governed by Michigan law, which lays out the specific requirements in order for the written document to be valid and effective. This legal document allows you to name a "patient advocate" to make decisions regarding your health care after two independent physicians have determined you are unable to do so yourself.

Our estate planning attorneys will help you understand the requirements of this law to ensure that your medical decisions are followed as you desire. Furthermore, the selection of the right patient advocate is extremely important, and we can go through the pros and cons of who would make a good advocate. Finally, there are strict witness and notary requirements for the Health Care Power of Attorney to be deemed effective, and our lawyers will ensure it is signed properly and legally.

Our attorneys incorporate "living will" guidelines into our Patient Advocate Designations, so that our clients can make their desired end-of-life wishes known, in writing, to their patient advocates and family members. By doing this, it is our goal and intent to avoid undesired family in-fighting, which can be common in situations without a proper written estate plan in place ahead of time.

For more information or to set up an appointment, please call the estate planning lawyers at Curtis, Curtis & Brelinski at (517) 787-9481, email info@curtiscurtislaw.com, or complete our online contact form. Based in Jackson, we serve clients throughout mid-Michigan.