Appointing an Agent for Disposition of Remains
How can you make sure that your wishes for disposition of your body are carried out when you die?
Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of RemainsIn Texas, the best way to handle this is ask your estate planning attorney help you complete an Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains as part of your estate planning package. The document allows an individual to set out the special directions that are to be followed and to appoint agents to carry out the instructions. This document is especially helpful if someone other than the surviving spouse will be making the decision, if cremation or other special directions are desired, or if any family conflict on this issue is anticipated.
What happens if there is no appointed agent?If there are no binding written directions or appointed agent, and there is no surviving spouse to take responsibility, the funeral home may require that the body be held for up to ten days or more while they attempt to obtain the agreement of several family members who may not be willing to agree with a disposition plan. The funeral home may also hold the body while they have a private investigator search for remote family members to be identified and asked to provide instructions for disposition and to agree to be financially responsible for the disposition. This can be expensive and very upsetting to friends and family members who are already grieving and overwhelmed with emotion.
Should my instructions for burial or cremation be part of my Will?The Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains is an important part of many estate plans and can be very helpful to the surviving friends or family members. Disposition instructions can be included in a Will, but appointing an agent is even better than leaving disposition instructions in a Will since the burial or cremation may need to occur several days or weeks before the Will is submitted for probate.
Do I need an attorney to prepare this document?In Texas, Health and Safety Code Section 711.002 describes this form and provides the priority list of individuals who have the legal right to control the disposition of the decedent's remains. The experienced estate planning lawyers at de la Riva & Associates Legal team can assist clients in selecting the best estate planning options including the preparation of an Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains