Here, learn why to have a disposition of remains document and how to select who among your trusted loved ones will have the authority to decide what happens to your body when you die. The document lets you choose someone you trust to follow your wishes.
What does “disposition of remains” mean?
The disposition of your remains is what you want to be done with your body following death. The most common dispositions are burial and cremation.
What if you lack a disposition of remains document?
If you die without having a written document that appoints someone to make decisions about your remains, then your “next of kin” will have the right to control what happens to your body. In Texas, “next of kin” means your relative(s) in the following order:
- surviving spouse
- surviving adult children
- surviving adult siblings
In some cases, a person’s next of kin may be a group of people, such as a group of adult children or a group of siblings.
Why have a disposition of remains document?
The Disposition of Remains document lets you select the person you feel will best carry out your wishes regarding what happens to your body at the time of your death. The person you assign can be a family member, significant other, or a close friend.
The document gives you the power to choose a person you trust to follow your wishes. It allows you to remove decision-making from a group of people who may have differences of opinion regarding what should happen to your remains.
Choose carefully and communicate clearly.
Your primary agent is your first choice for making decisions. The document allows you to name alternates if the primary agent is unable or unwilling to act. Speak with your agents before completing the document to ensure they are comfortable following your wishes.
Whomever you choose must be a competent adult—someone at least 18 years old.
Can I change my mind?
Yes, your wishes may change over time, and that’s OK because the disposition of final remains is revocable. That means you can change your designee if one becomes unavailable or unwilling to follow your wishes.
When does this document become valid?
The Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains is not valid until the agents you have named sign and date the last page of the document.
When does this document take effect?
The Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains becomes effective upon your death.
Does a notary have to be there when your agents sign?
A notary does not have to be present when your agent or agents sign the Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains.
Do my agents have to sign at the same time?
It is not necessary for the agents to sign the Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains at the same time.
Who pays for the disposition of my remains?
When your agent or agents sign the Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains document, they are agreeing to be held personally liable for expenses related to the disposition of your remains in the event the expenses are not pre-paid.
These estate planning documents were created for emergency responders such as law enforcement, firefighters, and medical professionals, but anyone ...
This article explains why you need to have a will made.
Understand laws about what happens to your property after you die.
This article provides information about estate planning in Texas.
Handwritten wills can be valid under specific circumstances.
In this article, you will learn about Transfer on Death Deeds (TODDs).