Funeral Disputes - Who Decides?

Occasionally a family may have a disagreement about what type of funeral to hold for the person that has passed away. Of course it’s certainly ideal if everyone can eventually agree. If not, there are California laws that address this subject.


If the decedent had written instructions regarding the funeral, those wishes must be faithfully carried out as long as the instructions are clear and arrangements for payment were made.


If there aren’t any instructions, California law gives the right to make funeral arrangements to the following people (in order):

  1. An agent under the power of attorney for health care

  2. Surviving spouse or registered domestic partner

  3. Adult children

  4. Parents

  5. Siblings

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