Fighting within the family soon after the death of a loved one is likely the last situation Texas residents want to face. However, there are various circumstances that could lead individuals into estate-related disputes. If no estate planning took place on the part of the deceased family member, various topics could be at risk of disagreement, including funeral arrangements.
If an individual did not create an estate plan detailing his or her wishes for being laid to rest or who should carry out funeral decisions, surviving family may argue over how the arrangements should be handled. In some cases, there may be existing documents not directly related to funeral decisions that could have inadvertently appointed an individual to be responsible for such tasks. For example, if an individual named a power of attorney agent for certain health or financial reasons, that agent could be put in charge of funeral arrangements.
If no documents exist that could lead to an individual having been named, certain laws may dictate that order. In such cases, the relationships between the deceased and surviving individuals could play a role. For example, if the decedent was married, a surviving spouse will likely have the final say in such arrangements. If there is no spouse, the next closest relative will likely be in charge.
Though disagreements regarding funeral arrangements may be put to rest simply by finding the right individual to handle the decisions, there are other estate-related topics that could lead to more considerable disputes. If an individual did not go through the estate planning process, there could be issues regarding property distribution, inheritances and other similar topics. If Texas residents find themselves on the cusp of dealing with such issues, they may wish to consult with experienced attorneys to determine what steps they may need to take.
Source: nwitimes.com, "Who makes final arrangements?", Christopher Yugo, Dec. 11, 2016