Funeral and Burial Arraignments and Will Problems

Written by Robert T. Nickerson

I hate to bring up another sad issue that’s unfortunately common with families, but it has to do with funerals. I’m not talking about them in general, but rather how the arraignments are planned. Chances are various family members are going to disagree with how a funeral and a burial are set for a loved one. 
Wills typically have the wishes of one if they want to be buried, cremated, or however they see appropriate. The problem is that they’re not always legally binding. In fact, a lot believe that the “next of kin” has the authority on the funeral and burial. 
Not every family is going to want a funeral, but there is a responsibility to dispose of the body. Now I’m not encouraging you to take your loved one to the dump, but again, you want to think about who will be likely to follow through on ones wishes. If not one person is set in stone within an estate plan,  then the law provides a list of people who would be in line. 
As of 2020, the law states that the following people would have to take the position of a funeral and burial arrangements (if one is not setup before hand)

  1. The surviving husband or wife
  2. The children of the deceased and grandchildren
  3. The mother and father of the deceased
  4. Blood relative brothers and sisters
  5. Grandparents
  6. Blood relative uncles, aunts and cousins

If a burial dispute happens, then it’s possible for the court to step in to help decide what happens to the loved one.
My advice would be to go above a will and get an estate plan. This is more set in stone with the wishes of the family member on your mind. This is unlikely to be challenged in court. Even is a family member was going to challenge this, it would have little chance of changing anything.
I can certainty go into more detail on what an estate plan can do for you and your family. Contact our office for more detail.

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