If you’ve ever had someone close to you die and have been tasked with planning arrangements for the wake, funeral, and burial or cremation you know it can be difficult. Not only are you dealing with heartache and grief of losing that loved one, but now you’re also dealing with the organizational aspects of death. In our firm we refer to this as the “business of dying”.
Immediately following death, the caregiver/family member needs to quickly determine how their care partner wanted his or her bodily remains handled. Final disposition is a legal term that refers to what happens to your body when you die. This could mean burial, cremation, interment, or another method of “disposing” of a deceased individual’s remains. This information may be contained in the deceased’s estate plan, specifically the Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare. Without this document, caregivers and trusted loved ones must find out whether they have the legal authority to make this decision, or if another person does. The Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare also provides clear directives about organ and tissue donation as well as whether the individual wishes to donate their body to science or education.
If the deceased didn’t make any preferences legally known, then the decision falls to the next-of-kin (nearest relative). If the next of kin is unavailable or unable to make decisions of this nature, the next of kin hierarchy is followed until someone who can make these decisions can be found.
Make arrangements now!
Did you know that you can pre-pay for cremation or burial? This may provide a financial benefit for you. At a minimum, settling the funeral arrangements takes the guesswork away for your grieving caregivers. If you die without an estate plan, and without clear instructions for the disposition of final remains, you’ll be leaving your loved ones with a headache on top of the inevitable heartache. The ambiguity surrounding final remains can lead to fighting between family members if they disagree over what would be best. That’s why taking the time to think through your final services is a wonderful gift and a great way to show your loved ones how much you care. In this link we share 5 important topics we suggest you discuss with your families to make knowing and following your wishes smoother for your family. You can also find Hurley Elder Care Law’s “What to Do When a Loved One Dies Checklist” here.
Our team of experts at Hurley Elder Care Law are happy to discuss your probate plans and needs with you. Call us at 404-843-0121 for a complimentary phone consultation with our intake specialist.
Subscribe to our blog and monthly newsletter.