Appointing a Personal Funeral Representative

Many people think that a Power of Attorney can authorize a cremation in the State of Michigan.  Michigan law requires a majority of relatives of equal kinship to authorize a cremation. Sometimes it is difficult to find these individuals. And sometimes due to family dynamics, they cannot agree on the method of disposition. 

In the State of Michigan, a Personal Funeral Representative can be named. This person has the right and power to make decisions about funeral arrangements and the handling, disposition, or disinterment, including decisions about cremation. 

This appointment gives authority to handle either cremation or burial plans on behalf of the deceased.

This designation picks up where a power of attorney designation stops in matters pertaining to a person’s funeral and/or cremation.  

This appointment must be made while the appointer is of sound mind and must be witnessed by either a notary public or two independent witnesses. 

This form also allows individuals to appoint an alternative individual to serve in this capacity, in the event the first person named is not available or cannot serve.

When appointing someone to be either the Representative or Successor Representative, acceptance signatures are required by both parties as well as by the person making the appointment. The appointment must either be witnessed by two individuals or notarized.

Anyone over the age of 18 can be appointed. Personal Funeral Representatives cannot be licensed health professionals, an employee or volunteer of a health care or veteran’s facility that is providing care, an officer or employee of a funeral establishment crematory or cemetery, or anyone who has been criminally charged with intentional murder.

Many people are taking advantage of this streamlined method of having their cremation authorized. It is important that this be done while the person making the designation is of sound mind. Their signature is an affidavit that they understand the document and are making the appointment voluntarily.

If we can help you or if you have questions regarding this, please let us know. We are here to help you.