Preparing for the Funeral
Cremation / Burial
Grief Resources - Dr. Alan Wolfelt
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We've seen it happen time and again. The person making the initial call to our funeral home turns out to be the one with the legal responsibilities of making decisions related to the care of a loved one.
While they may feel that they should be the one to make these choices, the law doesn't recognize them as such - and so their voice can become effectively silenced.
If the deceased has not expressed their wishes through a written document such as a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, or a Last Will and Testament, where the deceased has designated an agent to fulfill their wishes; then the chain of command, formally called the "order of precedence" is commonly as follows:
(1) The right of a person to control the disposition of the human remains of a deceased vests in and devolves on that person in the following order of priority:
(a) the personal representative named in the will of the deceased.
(b) the spouse of the deceased if living with the deceased at the time of death or a person who was living with the deceased as husband or wife for a continuous period of not less than 2 years;
(c) an adult child of the deceased;
(d) an adult grandchild of the deceased;
(e) if the deceased was a minor, a person who was a legal guardian of the person of the deceased at the time of death;
(f) a parent of the deceased;
(g) an adult sibling of the deceased;
(h) an adult nephew or niece of the deceased;
(i) an adult next of kin of the deceased, determined on the basis provided by sections 89 and 90 of the Estate Administration Act;
(j) the minister under the Employment and Assistance Act or, if the official administrator under the estate Administration Act is administering the estate of the deceased under the Act, the official administrator:
(k) an adult person having a personal or kinship relationship with the deceased, other than those referred to in paragraphs (b) to (d) and (f) to (i). Adult is 19 years old
The person designated as the responsible party, whoever they may be, needs to be present to make decisions, and sign documents. If you are unclear as to who is the responsible person in planning a funeral for your loved one, contact us.
If your loved one has yet to specify who they whish to be in control of their funeral service planning, and they are clear-headed enough to do so, now is the perfect time to take care of that.
This is especially important if they think their relatives will not honour their funeral wishes, or if they are on bad terms with relatives, do not know where they are, or do not have any relatives living.
Appointing a specific person to arrange their funeral who is not a family member is a good way to ensure their final wishes are carried out.
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