Arrangement Answers: Who Legally Makes Funeral Arrangements?

One of the hardest times in life is when we lose a loved one. The grief can be overwhelming, especially if the loss was unexpected. One of the hardest things for people in this season is dealing with Funeral Arrangements.

There are many details surrounding the funeral and the different questions that have to be answered. This can be a pressure-packed situation for families especially if there are multiple members.

Who decides what happens at the funeral? What happens if family members disagree? These are hard questions to ask because they usually come from the struggle of this tough time.

Read on and find the answers you may be looking for on who makes the funeral arrangements. 

Pre-Arranged Funeral Arrangements

The ideal setup is for someone to arrange their own funeral. This is the best way for them to get exactly what they want. They can also go ahead and cover the main expenses so it isn’t a burden on anyone.

This is easy to say, but hard to do and we understand that. Thinking about our own death isn’t an easy thing to contemplate. We would rather not think about it and just keep living our lives every day.

This is how most people feel, but think about how easy it will be on your loved ones if they don’t have all the details of putting a funeral together. Too often the families can get into disagreements over what the person wanted.

Making the arrangements yourself, helps to take care of all the details, and it assures that your wishes will be carried out.

Appointed Person for Funeral Arrangements

You can also appoint someone to handle all of the arrangements for your funeral. This person can be a designated agent for you; to handle all of the details of your funeral. 

You can give them the ability to go through your funeral arrangements checklist, to carry out your wishes. Many times this person can be assigned through a notarized document that gives them the right to be your agent.

They can make all the arrangements and then pay for the funeral from the estate. Some decisions cannot be made upfront and will need someone to handle them.

Funeral flower arrangements are an example of a decision that would be hard to prearrange. However, your appointed person can take care of all those details for you.

This is a smart thing to do if you think there are issues within the family that could be a problem. Also, if you have specific religious or cultural beliefs that you want the funeral, the person assigned could make sure they happen. 

In California, there is a personal preference law that allows for a designated agent to be assigned to carry out your wishes. This is irrevocable only if all of the arrangements have been prepaid.

If the arrangements have not been prepaid, the family could have more to say about the arrangements. This could lead to problems. If you assign someone to carry out your wishes; you may want to consider prepaying for everything.

Next of Kin

If someone hasn’t prearranged their own funeral or assigned someone to take care of the details, the next of kin is responsible. This can be a spouse or the closest blood relative.

This is usually one person, and they will be the main person responsible for the decisions. Other family members can give their opinions, but the funeral home will have one main person who is responsible.

This will be the person who makes the final call on things like the funeral floral arrangements. Other members of the family can give their funeral flower arrangement ideas, but the next of kin will make the final call.

They will also be responsible to cover the costs of the funeral. This does not mean they have to pay it out of pocket, but they make sure the estate covers the cost first.

The hardest part of the next of kin making the arrangements is the stress that will be on them. They will be going through their own grief process and the many decisions of a funeral could be tough on them.

If you desire for a next of kin to take care of the details, have a conversation with them and let them know what you want. You could even put something in writing for them so they can follow your plan.

This can help to take the weight off them and give you peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out. 

Making a Hard Time Easier

There is nothing easy about planning and taking part in the funeral of a loved one. No matter how prepared we are, it is still a tough time. The Funeral Arrangements can be a big weight to add to the grief of the family.

Consider taking care of all those details upfront. This makes sure that your wishes are carried out and it can be another way for you to bless your family. They will feel your love as they see how you handled everything for them.

LaVista Memorial Park is a Family-Owned company that has been compassionately caring for San Diego families for over 150 years. We are a full-service company that will help you take care of all your prearrangements.

Contact one of our caring professionals and let them help you take care of all the details for your funeral or the funeral of a loved one.