How to Avoid Fights Over Final Arrangements

A recent article published on[1] focuses on the importance of making final arrangements prior to death. The article highlights famous cases of Anna Nicole Smith, Ted Williams, and Mickey Rooney.  In each, the families fought over the deceased burial wishes.

In Michigan, a recently updated law (MCL 700.1104 et al.) allows a person to designate a funeral representative who would have the right and power to make decisions about funeral arrangements and the handling, disposition, or disinterment of the person’s body after death. This would include decisions about cremation, and the right to possess cremated remains of the decedent.

As part of my practice, we always ask clients:

  • Who they want to oversee their final disposition,
  • Whether they prefer burial or cremation, and
  • Where they wish to be buried or interred.

Part of our complete plan, allows our client to leave *written* instructions on these questions and more, such as providing direction on their funeral and memorial services and other final wishes.

While your life may not be as public as the famous people above, your family does not have to experience a similar fight over what your wishes are.

If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me at (248) 409-0256 or