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Authorizing Direct Cremation


Can a family member(in this case, 1 of 7 surviving children) go to a funeral and request a direct cremation of a parent without that parent's written request and without notifying other siblings as to where and when cremation is taking place?

Most funeral homes or crematoriums will likely require two signatures to authorize the cremation. The signatures must be from the nearest living relatives starting with spouse, children, siblings, etc. Also, keep in mind that if any of your siblings disagree with the cremation, you could be setting yourself up for a lawsuit. The funeral home performing the cremation could also be in line for possible litigation from disgruntled family members. The best thing would be to talk it over with your other family members and see if there could be some agreement on the decision to cremate. Many times, family members who object to something suddenly become very willing to go along with the requests of the person paying the bill. Will you be taking care of the expense? Or will someone else be responsible? There are many things to consider and I would be careful not to do something hastily in this situation.

Thanks -- Kevin Stockham

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