If there isn’t a Will, who can make funeral arrangements?
- Adult Children
- Other Relatives
Family members can work together when it comes to giving instructions, but if there is conflict, it is best to seek counsel from a professional.
What if I am legally married, but living with someone else?
Being legally married before death to a person of the same or opposite sex, makes the surviving spouse the leading authority on funeral arrangements. In the event of someone still being legally married but living in a conjugal relationship with another person may mean the deceased would be deemed as having more than one spouse. In that case, it could be advisable to seek court appointment or for one of the spouses to renounce their duty.
Does birth order determine priority?
The law does not recognize priority by age. Eligible, appointed adult children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, or siblings all have equal rights to make funeral arrangements, respectively.
What if parents must make funeral arrangements for a child?
Each parent is equally responsible for making funeral arrangements. If the surviving parents are separated or divorced, but they hold joint custody, they still have equal authority over the child’s arrangements. If one parent held sole custody of the child, then the responsibility belongs to the sole custody parent. If the child is an adult and the divorced parents are in conflict, then legal counsel may be necessary to determine who has the authority to take on the responsibility of making funeral arrangements for the deceased.
I am alone. Do I still need a Will?
It is advisable to prepare a Will and name an Executor if there is not a clear Next of Kin living in the province to look after your affairs. Arrangements can be stalled while awaiting the appointment of an administrator.
Being prepared is a thoughtful act. Learn how to prepare an affordable Will here.