Michigan End of Life Guide

Advance Directives 

Advance Directives are legal documents that allow you to make known your end-of-life care ahead of time. The state of Michigan does not recognizes living wills, but it does recognize the appointance of a Health Care Proxy to act on your behalf when you are non longer able to do so. 

Here are some important questions to consider before beginning this process:

  • Is this document(s) state specific? No

  • Does this document(s) need to be notarized? No

  • Does this document(s) require witnesses? If so, how many? Yes / 2

  • Can you legally use Aging With Dignity's 5 Wishes DocYes

In Michigan, there is a single Health Care Proxy form. You can download this document by clicking below:


(Source: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services)

Death with Dignity

Death with Dignity laws allow the dying more control of their death and end-of-life decisions. These laws allow terminally-ill, able-minded state residents to request and receive prescription medication to hasten their death.

In Michigan, Death With Dignity legislation has not been passed nor submitted under a House or Senate bill.

Designated Funeral Agent

Michigan law supports the appointment of a designated funeral agent to follow through on your written personal preferences (see below) or make funeral arrangements on your behalf if no written preferences are indicated.

The state of Michigan allows its citizens to write down their last wishes in their will, but also gives a right to the next of kin to override the wishes of the deceased.

The appointment of a designated funeral agent will override the next-of-kin's usual authority and let the citizen designate whom he/she wants to control the disposition of his body.

Financial Assistance

Offers a program called ‘Home & Burial Services.' When the descendant's estate, mandatory copayments, etc., are not sufficient, burial payment assistance may be available to pay for burial, cremation, or costs associated with donation of a body to a medical school.

See our Financial Assistance Chart for more details.

Home Funeral

Michigan is one of 10 states that does not allow the family all power in home funerals or has conflicting law, necessitating the use of a funeral director for some purposes. Michigan requires that death certificates be “certified” by a funeral director – though the statute doesn’t define what that means. Additionally, the wills and probate section of the law requires all body dispositions be conducted by a licensed funeral director.

Check with the National Home Funeral Alliance for up-to-date details on how to navigate home funerals in Michigan and when it is required to involve a licensed funeral director.

Personal Preference Law

Personal preference laws for body disposition obligate your survivors to follow your written [or verbal] personal preferences. This often goes hand-in-hand with designating a funeral agent to follow through with your funeral or body disposition preferences.

In Michigan, there is not a law obligating your survivors to follow your personal preferences. In fact, even if you put them in your Will, your next-of-kin can override them. However, we always recommend outlining your funeral preference in writing and sharing them with your designated funeral agent, next-of-kin, or spouse, giving you the best chance of having them seen through or upheld in the courts.