Michigan law requires a little bit of drama and ceremony, for the proper execution of a financial power of attorney. Given the significant powers and responsibilities that an agent takes on, the purpose of such requirements is to make certain that the power of attorney document, and relationship, was set up intentionally.
The requirements for the proper execution of a financial power of attorney document are as follows:
- The “principal”, or the person designating someone else as their agent, must sign in front of a notary.
- Additionally, that notarized signature must be witnessed by two individuals, neither of whom is the agent (aka “attorney in fact”).
- The agent acknowledges that he/she knowingly assumes the responsibilities set forth in the power of attorney document
I handle these power of attorney executions, or signings, as follows:
- As a notary public, I notarize the document;
- I have two witnesses, who meet the state law criteria;
- I have the agent acknowledge their responsibilities as required by the statute; and
- I explain the requirements to everyone.
As well, I leave two fully executed copies of the document with the principal and agent, and I take one fully executed copy back to my office, where I scan it to my hard drive, and where it is backed up routinely. That way, you will never have to worry about losing your document. I am only as far away as a phone call, and I will gladly provide you another copy.