Someone will have to be in charge at the time of your death. This person will have to make decisions about your funeral planning at a funeral home in Monroeville, PA, from where you will be buried or cremated, how your will estate be carried out, and many other important jobs. This person is usually one of your next of kin.
Your next-of-kin is an immediate family member, like a husband, wife, or common-law spouse, a child, your parents, a domestic partner, or your siblings. However, there are plenty of situations in which you don’t have any next of kin, or if you don’t want your next of kin to be in charge of your will and funeral arrangements.
For example, people often get divorced and therefore are estranged from their ex-spouse and children. People outlive their family members. Or, in other instances, someone may not want their children to be in charge as they might argue about how to execute the cremation and estate funeral after the death of their parents. If these or similar situations apply to you, what can you do?
You can designate a funeral agent.
A Funeral Agent is a person designated to have legal responsibility over all the matters concerning someone else’s disposition. In the funeral world, this is called the “right to control.” You can hire a Funeral Agent and give them the right to control your cremation service planning and the legal power to override the decisions of anyone else, including your children, siblings, spouse, domestic and civil partner, and parents. Funeral Agents can be anyone you choose, from a friend or clergy member to a neighbor, coworkers, social worker, or extended family member. However, its best to choose someone that will outlive you and will understand and be able to handle the ins and outs of planning a cremation.
How do you appoint a Funeral Agent? While the laws vary from state to state, the most common process is by either adding a codicil to your will or by filling out a form. If you want to designate a Funeral Agent in your will or in a codicil to your will, you need to talk to a lawyer and explain your wishes. Since the executor of a will is not necessarily the Funeral Agent, it is important to make the wording clear and specific in your will.
Have your lawyer draw up a will or amendment that makes it clear who your Funeral Agent will be. If you want to fill out the form, you should get the form from your local government and make sure its notarized and signed by the intended funeral recipient and two witnesses. Remember, whether or not you appoint a Funeral Agent is completely up to you, as it is a very personal choice.
If you want to learn more about preplanning for a Monroeville, PA funeral home or Funeral Agents, Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to help. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.