​If you were to die today,
who would control your funeral?
​As simple as the question is, the answer is complicated.

Looking at the order of those allowed to control your funeral, New York State lists them like this:

  • 1. A person designated in writing
  • 2. The surviving spouse
  • 3. The surviving domestic partner
  • 4. Any surviving child age 18 or over
  • 5. Surviving parent
  • 6. Surviving sibling age 18 or older
  • 7. Lawfully appointed guardian
  • 8+. There are several categories after this that rarely apply.

From a funeral directing point of view, what is the most frequent complication in the list? The most common problem arises between item 2 and 3.

If you are separated–but not divorced–from your spouse, you are at risk of leaving confusion in your wake. Legally, the surviving spouse has precedence over everyone, regardless of the quality of the relationship. If you have made the decision that you want someone other than your not-yet-former-spouse to control your funeral, you must complete a Designation of Agent form, which then moves your named person up to the top priority.

Perhaps there is no spouse or domestic partner, in the event that there are several children who would qualify to control your funeral, perhaps you would see the need to designate one. The completed Designation of Agent form will remove doubt and confusion.

Free consultations, because all consultations are free, are available to determine if this is a wise move for you. Call Bud at 585-593-3256 or 607-478-8740.