A Bellingham cremation service is usually arranged by a family member of the deceased. These family members could include a spouse, children, or parents. However, sometimes people have closer relationships with some family members than others or with people who are not members of their family, and they decide that they want to entrust their cremation service arrangements to them.
If it is your desire that someone who is not related to you arranges your cremation service after your death, then there are certain things you should do now to ensure that there are no hiccups or disputes when that time comes.
By law, if you don’t have any written instructions about who you want to be authorized to make arrangements for your cremation service, then only your next of kin, in a specific order, can make these arrangements.
Next of kin refers to family members who can make decisions, including cremation service arrangements for you, after you die if you don’t leave instructions otherwise. These family members, in hierarchal order, include:
- Next closest relative (aunt, uncle, cousin, niece, nephew, etc.)
In order for you to explicitly designate someone (next of kin or not) as the one who will take of making your cremation service arrangements, then you need to do several things for them to have the legal authority to do so.
You can either fill out a “Designated Agent for Funeral Arrangements” form for Washington or you can put your final wishes for your cremation service in writing. You must sign the form or written instructions. The person you’ve designated to carry out your final wishes must sign the form or written instructions as well. Then, the form or written instructions need to be notarized (your bank or insurance company will often offer this service free).
One thing to note about designating someone to make your cremation service arrangements is that this does not change the proxies listed on medical or durable powers of attorney nor does it change the executor or trustee of your will or living trust.
Once you decide who you want to designate to make your cremation service arrangements and you get your wishes written and notarized, be sure to keep a copy of them with your important papers and make sure your family members have a copy. While some family members may be upset if they weren’t chosen, at least this keeps everyone on the same page.
In addition to completing the form or creating your own written document for who should make cremation service arrangements for you, be sure to leave detailed and specific instructions about what you want to be included.
Talk about the kind of cremation service you want. Some people want a viewing and a funeral service before they are cremated, while other people want a memorial service held after they are cremated. Some people don’t want any kind of formal service at all, but instead prefer a scattering ceremony or some other special event involving their cremation remains.
If you want a service before or after your cremation, be specific about what you want to be included in the service. These things may include favorite readings, eulogies, and scripture readings (designate who should do these), as well as favorite songs that you would like played during the service.
Finally, create a list of people who should be notified when you die. Include their names, phone numbers, physical addresses, and email addresses.
For additional information about arranging a cremation service in Bellingham, WA, our compassionate and experienced team at Moles Farewell Tributes & Crematory – Bayview Chapel is here to help.