Losing a loved one can be an emotional and overwhelming time. On top of dealing with your grief, there are many administrative and legal tasks to navigate. The aftermath of a death in the family can involve difficult decisions and complex probate proceedings, requiring help from an experienced attorney.
Discuss your questions and concerns about funeral arrangements in Rosemead with our legal team. We could advise you on following your loved one’s will and other estate planning documents, including advance healthcare directives.
Determining Funeral Arrangements Based on a Will
Often, the decedent will have specific instructions for funeral arrangements within their estate plan. For instance, a lawyer may have included their wishes for being buried or cremated into their will. Generally, family members or the appointed executor in the will is responsible for planning and funding the funeral.
In some situations, the next of kin or designated estate executor may reject the responsibility of funeral arrangements. Typically, the will should name a successor or alternate executor to accept responsibility before turning to a willing third party.
Liability for Burial Expenses
The party liable for burial expenses depends on the situation. Generally, the decedent’s debts are separate unless they have a surviving spouse. The surviving spouse may be liable for half of the funeral costs in this case. Children are not typically responsible for these debts. Our Rosemead attorneys could offer advice on funding funeral arrangements and paying for the expenses using the decedent’s estate.
When are Autopsies Conducted?
An autopsy may be conducted if the decedent was found alone at home without any clear-cut medical or hospital records. Alternatively, family members may request an autopsy. The Coroner’s Office at the Department of the Mortuary typically authorizes autopsies. If the decedent clearly refused autopsies upon death in their estate plan, a request for an autopsy may be denied. Someone may deny an autopsy due to religious or personal beliefs, which should be clearly stated in their estate plan.
An autopsy can also provide insights into possible medical malpractice, wrongful death, or accidental death. The procedure gives more detail about the circumstances of the person’s passing—this information may be useful in other proceedings. For instance, family members may be eligible for insurance benefits based on the circumstances of their loved one’s death.
Organ Donation Arrangements
If the decedent had an advance health care directive, it should include directions about organ donation. Alternatively, their driver’s license may state any intentions to donate their organs. In some situations, the executor of the decedent’s will may need to make those determinations if the question of organ donation is left unanswered by other estate planning documents. A lawyer in Rosemead could offer legal counsel on interpreting a person’s healthcare and end-of-life wishes based on their estate plan.
Contact a Rosemead Attorney for Guidance on Funeral Arrangements
The death of a loved one is never easy. Whether you are dealing with the loss of a family member or want to set out plans that ease the process for your family in the future, we are here for you.
Our attorneys could advise on laying out your wishes for funeral arrangements in Rosemead through a robust estate plan. We could also help fulfill a family member’s wishes and thoroughly explain every legal and administrative decision you face. Call us today to set up a consultation.