Keller, TX asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Elder Law for Louisiana

Q: is there any way to get around a next of kin authorization of cremation?

My great aunt recently passed away and one of her sisters refuses to sign the authorization to cremate. Prior to her passing i was her POA. she only has a life insurance policy big enough to cover the cost of her services and cremation. I have tried to explain this to her sister that lives in the state of texas and she still refuses to sign. No one in the family is willing to pay for burial arrangements.

1 Lawyer Answer
Christie Tournet
Christie Tournet
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Mandeville, LA
  • Licensed in Louisiana

A: A directive/authorization for cremation can be made by a Testator to an individual, other than a family member, in a valid Louisiana Will. Typically, that is the only way to get around the family requirement. You mention that you previously had POA for the Decedent, but not sure of the scope of the Will. If this authorization was not provided in a valid Will format, then LA law provides a ranking of classes of family that can provide the authorization - surviving spouse, then a majority of children....through a majority of surviving adult heirs, depending on how far down the family line you need to go. La R.S. 8:655 and La R.S. 37:876.

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