What is the Funeral Representative Designation Act?

What is the Funeral Repre…

In an attempt to help Michigan residents with making end-of-life decisions, the Michigan legislature enacted the Funeral Representative Designation Act (“the Act”), which went into effect on June 27, 2016. The Act allows you to choose a funeral representative, who will have the authority to make decisions about your final arrangements and resting place. This development in the law eliminates the potential confusion and conflicts between immediate family members about the appropriate funeral and burial arrangements following your death. It also provides a solution for individuals who have no immediate relatives or whose family is estranged.

Under the Act, you can name any person over the age of 18 as your funeral representative. Your representative is not required to be a relative; you are free to choose a friend or pastor as your representative if you so choose. The Act also allows you to name a successor funeral representative if the first person whom you have named is deceased or otherwise unable to act on your behalf.

If you don’t choose a funeral representative or your chosen representative and/or successor representative are unable to act, the law designates who will make your final arrangements. The new order of priority of persons who are authorized to make these decisions are as follows:

1) Your surviving spouse

2) Your children over the age of 18

3) Your grandchildren over the age of 18

4) Your parents

5) Your grandparents

6) Your siblings

Additionally, if your funeral representative or the person listed above with the highest priority cannot be located, decides not to serve as your funeral representative, or does not act within 48 hours of your death, then the next person on the list in terms of priority has authority to act.

The Act also specifies the people who are not authorized to act as your funeral representative:

1) A licensed health professional

2) An employee or volunteer of the healthcare facility that provided you with care during your final illness

3) An officer or employee of a funeral home that will provide your funeral services

4) An officer or employee of a cemetery where you will be buried

5) An officer or employee of a crematory where you will be cremated

If you are unsure as to what sort of estate planning mechanisms best meet your needs, you can turn to Legacy Law Center for legal advice about the different options that are available to you. If you or a loved one needs help with estate planning or related issues, you should definitely contact an experienced Michigan elder law attorney at Legacy Law Center right away. Call Terrence Bertram at Legacy Law Center today and see what we can offer you and your family.

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