It is fairly common for families to disagree when it comes to a loved one’s final arrangements. One family member may believe that cremation is the best option, while the others want a more traditional funeral and internment. These types of disagreements can cause problems in families for years to come.
The law actually dictates who has the right to make decisions concerning your final arrangements. The order in which this usually goes is first the spouse, if you are not married or your spouse is already deceased, the responsibility then goes to the children. When there are disagreements between the children, the funeral home will often let the first that starts the preparations, make the decisions. This also happens to be the person that is taking financial responsibility for the costs.
If there are no children or spouse, usually a parent or sibling makes the decisions concerning final arrangements.
There are a couple of different things that you can do now, in order to avoid this type of problem with your family later. The first thing you can do is to have a legal document that specifies what you would like concerning your final arrangements. This information can be included in your Living Will or a separate document. It is not usually a good idea to put your instructions in your will, as this document may not be read until after decisions for your final arrangements have already been made.
Another option is to preplan your own arrangements. Prepaid and preplanning for funeral arrangements has become a popular trend. This will take the burden off of your family, and ensure that it is all done the way you would want it to be done. If you plan to prepay for your final arrangements, make sure that you read the contract completely before signing it, and that there is a guarantee that the price will remain the same.
If you do not want to prepay, you can put the money in a special trust and include instructions for your final arrangements with the trust. This is usually the best option, as your money is protected, and it will be available to pay the costs when it is needed.