A sad situation presented itself a few weeks ago. A funeral director was demanding that all the children of a recently deceased client consent to a cremation. One of the children was out of the country permanently, and could not be reached. Fortunately I was able to convince the lawyer for the funeral home that the child making the arrangements had every right to do so.
In Missouri, this so called “Right of Sepulcher” is governed by statute. It sets up a logical order of people who can make decisions. The surviving spouse, if there is one, is first, children are next, etc. If children can’t agree then generally the first one there who takes financial responsibility gets to choose.
If you are concerned about this kind of fight on your passing you can make a special provision in your Missouri Durable Power of Attorney addressing this specifically – in other words, you can choose who will make the arrangements. Pre-planning your funeral or cremation is also a good idea. Another good idea is creating a set of Final Instructions to Loved Ones.
Contact us if you have other questions.