Everyone has a right to choose their final wishes for once they’re gone, and these choices include who gets to plan and make important decisions. According to tradition, it is the next of kin that makes arrangements for services at cemeteries in Charlotte, NC. However, sometimes people wish to designate other people besides their next of kin to be in charge of their funeral planning after they’re gone, and that’s OK. Whether you want to designate a close friend, an estate executor, or even one of your children, it is possible to choose who arranges your funeral service.
But how do you designate other people besides the next of kin? According to state law, all instructions for last wishes must meet certain requirements in order for them to considered legal and binding. These requirements include:
- Signature of the decedent
- Acknowledgement of the decedent signature, meaning getting the document notarized
- Signature of the agent or successor agreeing to act as the decedent’s agent after death
Any modifications to a document must be in writing and also notarized in to make them valid. While these requirements seem like a lot, its actually easier than you think to meet them as many states have specific forms for people to leave final instructions and to designate someone other than their next of kind to make final arrangements. However, it’s important to remember that these forms do not trump or replace a Power of Attorney or a legal will, as they are only there to provide end of life instructions. Again, any and all written instructions, from a Power of Attorney to an end-of-life form, must be signed by both parties before the death.
There are a few other important next of kin topics. Start with these tips, and follow up with an attorney for more information and guidance:
- Make and Distribute Copies – Don’t just fill out the forms and forget about them. Make and give out copies to important people like those named in the document or caregivers.
- Be Specific – Be specific in your end-of-life instructions. Include information such as the type of disposition you want as clearly as possible.
- Do Your Own Research – Understanding how your state handles end of life arrangements and associated legal matters is very important. Do some research of your own to make sure you understand.
- Non-Traditional Relationships – Nontraditional relationships, like common law marriages, same sex relationships, or even families with lots of children often require additional steps and paperwork. Do research if you think this applies to your situation to make sure you’re covered.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to consult an attorney before making any official plans as they can best advise you on how to proceed.
You have every right to designate whomever you want to arrange your funeral service, but be sure to do it correctly to make sure your wishes are followed. Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is here to help if you want more information on end-of-life arrangements or Charlotte, NC cemeteries. You can stop by and visit us or call us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.