Finally, Michigan adopts a rational approach to funeral planning

For years, I have bemoaned the fact that my clients were unable under Michigan law to be confident that their wishes with respect to their own funeral and burial arrangements would be honored. The fact is, Michigan gave total control over funeral and burial arrangements to the next of kin. Hard as it is to believe, an individual had no power to control their own funeral or burial arrangements. This is true, even if a pre-paid arrangement has been contracted for with a funeral home.

However, a new law has been adopted that will allow individuals to appoint a funeral representative who will act much like a trustee or personal representative, but with full authority to make all funeral and burial arrangements. The law will go into effect June 27, 2016.

The law permits anyone to appoint any adult (other than funeral home or cemetery employees) to be their funeral representative. The document that make this appointment must have two witnesses and be notarized. It can be part of a Healthcare Power of Attorney, or part of a Will, or it can be a standalone document.

Because the law permits Funeral Homes to request and obtain a copy of the document, we will be recommending that the Will not be used for this purpose. For now we plan on preparing the appointment as a separate document. That way, clients do not have to feel pressure to select the same people as they pick for the Healthcare Patient Advocate.

If you have concerns about your funeral plans being carried out, we recommend you contact us to have an Appointment of Funeral Representative prepared and executed.

Cunningham Dalman, PC publishes this web site and its component parts to inform users about our firm, our attorneys and general new developments in the law. The web site and blogs are not intended as legal advice on any matter. There are many factors that may affect your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting because of information found here without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice from someone who is familiar with your particular circumstances.

In the operation of this web site and our blogs, we do not intend to create an attorney-client relationship with you and no such relationship shall be created by your use of this web site. Such a relationship can only be established to the extent an attorney at Cunningham Dalman, PC expressly agrees to undertake the relationship. Please do not communicate to us any information you regard as confidential unless and until we have established a formal attorney-client relationship with you. Any information you send to us before we establish an attorney client relationship may not be privileged or confidential. Information you send to us over the Internet may not be secure.