Who Gets to Make Decisions about Funeral Arrangements in Texas?
If the way in which you are buried matters to you, the time to make your wishes known is now. Under Texas law, unless you leave written instructions regarding the disposition of your remains in the form prescribed by law, the following persons, in the priority listed, have the right to make all decisions for funeral arrangements, including cremation:
- The person designated in a written instrument signed by you prior to death
- Your spouse, if any
- Your children over 18 years of age, if any
- Surviving parents
- Brothers and sisters
- Any other surviving family members in the next degree of kinship in the order named by law to inherit from your estate
Under Texas Health and Safety Code 711.002, your wishes come first, but only if you leave written instructions. One of the obvious places to leave written instructions for funeral arrangements is in your will. Be sure your executor has a copy of your will before you pass on, however, or your instructions may not be located in time to be carried out.
Alternatively, you can appoint an agent to control the disposition of your remains. We recommend appointing at least one successor agent should the first agent be unable or unwilling to carry out his or her duties.
Finally, don't keep it a secret. Make sure your executor or agent has a copy of the will or final arrangements document so they are prepared when the time comes.
If you need to make or change your will to include your funeral preferences, or want to designate an agent to make those decisions for you, call an experienced estate planning lawyer at the Peterson Law Group. Our experienced Conroe, Texas attorneys help clients develop comprehensive estate plans, including drafting wills and other documents to ensure your wishes are carried out. Call us at 936-337-4681 or 979-703-7014 or contact us online to arrange an appointment.