Who Has the Legal Right to Arrange a Funeral?

By Josh Slocum
Executive Director
Funeral Consumers Alliance

Conflicts between family members and interested parties over who has the legal right and precedence to make funeral arrangements for a person are sadly common. Here are the basics.

Designated Agents—Most states have some form of a law that allows a person to legally designate anyone she wishes to have the sole legal right to make and carry out funeral arrangements. For a list by state, see this link.

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