Tracking Probate and Estate Planning Legislation in the New Season

By Jeanne E. Murphy posted 02-01-2021 13:10


With the beginning of a new year and a new legislative session, one resolution can be to stay up-to-date on what our senators and representatives are busying themselves with on our behalf. ICLE is committed to summarizing and posting new PAs as they are signed. But sometimes it is nice to know what is going on with legislation while it is on the way to passage. This was particularly true this last fall and winter, when estate planners and elder law practitioners were awaiting the remote notarization and witnessing legislation. The Michigan Legislature’s website provides a convenient way to stay informed on your particular practice area. You can sign up to receive notifications of bills by category by clicking “Register” in the top ribbon. Whenever an action is taken on a bill in your category, an email will arrive in your in-box letting you know. You can sign up here for email notifications of particular House and Senate committees.

Some of the legislation intended to be reintroduced in the new session includes the following:

  • Omnibus EPIC legislation (adjusts cost-of-living figures and includes constraints on a lawyer- drafter who is a beneficiary)
  • Assisted reproductive technology legislation (addresses inheritance rights of children conceived through assisted reproductive technology)
  • Personal Perpetuities in Trust Act—Delaware-tax-trap planning enhancement
  • Qualified dispositions amendment to the Voidable Transactions Act
  • Vehicle transfer-on-death legislation

Once the legislation you are tracking has passed, it may be helpful to see a redlined version of the bill (2020 PA 365—guardian’s ability to execute a DNR order on behalf of a minor), instead of the clean version. To find this redlined version, click on “Public Act (Signed Bills)” in the left hand list on the home page, and when you arrive at the page for the particular PA, click on the pdf immediately before the one for the “Public Act”—this could be titled “House Concurred Bill,” “As Passed by the House,” or “As Passed by the Senate.” If you are already familiar with the particular statute that has been amended, you can quickly locate what exactly has changed.