Decisions You Will Face

When making funeral arrangements, here are some of the things you will need to consider:

  • What kind of farewell will be most appropriate?
  • Will the deceased be buried or cremated?
  • Will the deceased be embalmed?
  • What type of casket is desired?
  • Who can make funeral arrangements?

The authority for making arrangements for the disposition of human remains or cremated remains falls in the following order of priority:

  1. The personal representative designated in the will of the     
  2. The spouse of the deceased if the spouse was living with the deceased at the time of death, or a person who had been living with the deceased at the time of death as spouse for a continuous period of at least 2 years;
  3. An adult child of the deceased;
  4. A parent of the deceased;
  5. A guardian of the deceased under the dependent adults act or, if the deceased is a minor, under the child welfare act or the domestic relations act;
  6. An adult grandchild of the deceased;
  7. An adult brother or sister of the deceased;
  8. An adult nephew or niece of the deceased;
  9. An adult next of kin of the deceased determined on the basis provided by sections 8 and 9 of the intestate succession act;
  10. the Public Trustee;
  11. An adult person having some relationship with the deceased not based on blood ties or affinity;
  12. The Minister of Family and Social Services

If the right to control the disposition of human remains or cremated remains passes to persons of equal rank, in the absence of agreement between or among them, the order of priority begins with the eldest person in that rank and descends in order of age.

If the person who has the right to control the disposition of human remains or cremated remains is not available or is unwilling to give instructions, the right passes to the next available qualified person.

Living with the deceased includes a situation where the deceased resided before death in a care facility for health reasons and the spouse continued to provide the usual spousal support customarily associated with a couple intending to continue a marital relationship, or the deceased and the spouse were living apart at the time of death due only to circumstances other than a marital breakdown.

The cost of a funeral should reflect the lifestyle of the person, so think carefully about spending more than you can afford or have budgeted for in advance. Consider asking a trusted friend or relative to accompany you when you make funeral arrangements.


Please contact us with any questions you may have.