Planning Your Own Funeral May Mitigate the Risk of Disputes Between Grieving Family Members

An authorization for final disposition allows someone to designate an agent to make arrangements for their funeral, as well as take control of his or her body upon death. An authorization for final disposition can set forth instructions for the following:

  • Burial;
  • Viewing;
  • Headstone;
  • Attire;
  • Flowers; and
  • Cost, among other arrangements.

Oftentimes, a final disposition is incorporated into a comprehensive estate plan. In the event that an estate plan does not include a valid authorization for final disposition, the following individuals will be responsible for making the funeral arrangements on behalf of the decedent, in this order:

  • Spouse;
  • Child(ren);
  • Parent(s);
  • Siblings;
  • Extended family members;
  • Court Appointed Guardian.

However, one or more of these individuals may not be aware of a decedent’s wishes. In addition, a valid authorization for final disposition helps to avoid contentious issues between a decedent’s family members, such as overspending on a casket or the cremation of a person’s body. For this reason, an authorization for final disposition is crucial to maintaining the peace during an extremely difficult and emotional time. If you or someone you love wants to provide specific instructions for a funeral and disposition of remains, contact an experienced New Jersey estate planning lawyer to assist in the process.

The experienced New Jersey elder law and estate planning lawyers at the Law Offices of Hunziker, Jones, & Sweeney help seniors and their loved ones handle all aspects of estate planning, including executing an authorization for final disposition. Our New Jersey estate planning lawyers can answer your questions about planning for your future. With a law office conveniently located in Wayne, New Jersey, our estate planning lawyers are available to assist the residents of Passaic County, Bergen County, Essex County, Morris County, and the surrounding areas with their legal needs. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our New Jersey estate planning lawyers at (973) 256-0456.

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