A problematic issue for many clients in estate planning has finally been resolved. The right to determine the manner of disposition of our remains and the type of funeral was not our own. It resided with our next of kin – even if they did not agree with our wishes.
Many clients were troubled by the fact that their wishes for cremation and a very simple funeral could be altered by their family members. This changes effective June 27, 2016.
Act 57 of the Public Acts of 2016 was passed and was signed by the Governor of Michigan on March 29, 2016. This Act provides for the appointment of a Funeral Representative who has priority to make decisions about funeral arrangements and the handling, disposition or disinterment of a decedent’s body. This includes the right to elect cremation.
It will now be possible, as part of the estate planning process, to execute a document appointing the individual(s) who are trusted to make decisions in accordance with our wishes. That individual will have priority to make these arrangements, even if they are not immediate family, or next of kin.
All clients will want to add this to their estate plan to assure that their wishes are carefully carried out.