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Uniform Power of Attorney Bills Signed into Law
November 08, 2023
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel applauds Governor Gretchen Whitmer for signing HB 4644 into law yesterday, which amends the Uniform Power of Attorney (POA) Act. This legislation, sponsored by Representative Kara Hope, helps ensure:
- that a POA is accessible to more residents, which will decrease the number of guardianships and conservatorships appointed statewide;
- increased acceptance of POA’s from financial institutions and healthcare providers; and
- that agents fulfill their fiduciary duties by mandating that they maintain detailed records and receipts and reiterates the right to recover damages from exploiting agents.
“This bill, and our continued work in this area, is fundamental to restoring basic dignity to some of the most vulnerable adults in our state,” said Nessel. “The passage of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act into law is yet another accomplishment from the Department’s Elder Abuse Task Force and I applaud Governor Whitmer for signing this important legislation into law.”
Michigan's Elder Abuse Task Force (EATF) launched in 2019 and consists of more than 55 different organizations and more than 100 individuals in the public, private and nonprofit sections - all working together to combat elder abuse.
Earlier achievements include the adoption of a Vulnerable Adult Incident Report form for investigation by law enforcement across the state, including the implementation of related trainings and the Financial Exploitation Prevention Act (FEPA). FEPA was signed into law in 2021 to ensure mandated reporting for financial institutions on suspected fraud or exploitation. Both were part of the Task Force’s first set of initiatives.
It is estimated that more than 100,000 older adults in Michigan are victims of elder abuse, and that less than half of all instances are reported to authorities. Michigan residents seeking elder abuse resources are encouraged to call 800-24-ABUSE (22873), or 855-444-3911 to report suspected elder abuse.