New Michigan Legislation Affecting Estate Planning

Last week Gov. Snyder signed 2 new pieces of legislation that can affect an estate plan.

Senate Bill 551 contains several amendments to Michigan’s Probate Code (EPIC) allowing you to designate a “Funeral Representative” who will have the power to make decisions about your funeral arrangements. Before enactment of these amendments, Michigan law established an order of priority for who had authority to plan your funeral, and you could not change it. Now, you  can designate a person who will have that authority.

The second piece of legislation is the “Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act”. Among other things, this legislation creates the procedures for how you can give legal authority to an individual to access your digital assets (i.e. email, Facebook, twitter, etc.) in the event of your incapacity or death. The legislation overcomes many of the limitations on access to your digital assets created by Terms of Service Agreements. The legislation, also, establishes what you need to do if you do not want a fiduciary to have access to your digital assets.