It is important to think about who will be responsible for planning your final arrangements and how they will be paid for.

A Power of Attorney (POA) can no longer be used after you die, so your agent under your POA cannot write a check from your bank account to pay for your final arrangements. Your executor/administrator will not have been appointed by the Court by the time your final arrangements occur and need to be paid for, so they also cannot handle this. Some ways to deal with this issue include having a joint bank account with a trusted individual who will use the funds to pay for your final arrangements or setting up a pre-needs arrangement with a funeral home.

A form called the Designation of an Agent to Control Disposition of Remains can be used to designate a person to handle your final arrangements. That form can simply name a person and provide no instructions or it can provide any level of detailed instructions you desire. Those instructions can include which funeral home to use, the details of a pre-needs arrangement you’ve entered into, whether you’d like to be buried or cremated, where you’d like to be buried or have your ashes sprinkled, and other similar provisions.

This form is particularly useful for unmarried same or opposite sex couples, individuals who think family members will disagree about who should handle their final arrangement or how they should be handled, and individuals without any close family members.

The content on this webpage is intended for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Every situation is different and should be carefully discussed with an attorney before taking action.