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Until recently, Michigan law dictated who could make your final arrangements after your death. Michigan was one of only a few states that did not allow you to name someone you trusted to carry out your funeral arrangements.

That was corrected on March 29th, when Governor Snyder signed a new law that allows you to appoint a "funeral representative" to make decisions about your funeral arrangements and the disposition of your body. The new law takes effect on June 27, 2016.

How it Works

As of June 27, you will be able to name a funeral representative in your Will, in your patient advocate designation or in another written document. The document naming the representative must be notarized and signed by two witnesses. Once named, the funeral representative will have priority to make decisions about the funeral, as well as the disposition or disinterment of the body, cremation and who gets possession of the cremated remains.

What if No Representative is Named?

If you do not name a designated funeral representative, then the law lists who has the right to make those decisions, i.e., your surviving spouse, your children (by majority rule), and other family members. Similarly, the law specifically disqualifies certain people from acting as the representative, such as the employees of funeral homes or cemeteries, someone who was convicted of abuse, neglect or exploitation of the deceased, and the former spouse or a relative of the former spouse.

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