Cremation? Burial? Who Makes the Call?

Do you want to be buried?  Where?  Have you already paid for a burial plan?  Do you want to be cremated?  Do you want your ashes buried in a specific place?  Kept?  Scattered?  Or do you want your body donated to science?

There is a lot that you can say about what happens to your body after you pass away.  Many people have strong opinions.  For some, it is very important that their religious tenets are honored.  The pope recently issued new guidelines for Catholics, stating that ashes should not be scattered or divided among children, but should be interred in consecrated ground:

If you’re religious – or if you just feel strongly about it – have you let your family know what you would like to happen with your remains?

Tip:     You can give someone legal authority to be the decision-maker in this process by executing a document commonly known as a Disposition of Remains. 

It is also important to give this person all the information they need to honor your wishes.  By formally naming someone to be in charge, you can have the peace of mind of knowing your family won’t fight over what they think you wanted.  Even if you’re married, you can name a back up for your spouse, just in case.