Odds and Ends

Can I Appoint Someone Unrelated to Me to Dispose of My Remains

by Rania Combs

Some people have a very contentious relationship with members of their immediate family. So much so that they don’t want those family members to even control what happens to their remains when they die.

Someone in this situation recently contacted me. The individual asked if there was a way to restrict immediate family members from taking possession of a deceased person’s remains.

There is.

Texas statutes provide individuals may appoint a person in a written instrument to control the disposition of his or her remains. Section 711.002 of the Health and Safety Code even provides a statutory form to make that appointment.

If no person is appointed, then the following persons in the priority listed have the right to control the disposition of the decedent’s remains:

  1. The decedent’s surviving spouse;
  2. Any one of the decedent’s surviving adult children;
  3. Either one of the decedents’ surviving parents;
  4. Any one of the decedent’s surviving adult siblings;
  5. Any one or more of the duly qualified executors or administrators of the decedent’s estate; or
  6. Any adult person in the next degree of kinship in the order named by law to inherit the estate of the decedent.

If you want non-family members to take control of your remains after you die, you should make an appointment for disposition of remains.

About Rania

Rania graduated magna cum laude from South Texas College of Law Houston and is the founder of Rania Combs Law, PLLC. She has been licensed to practice law since 1994 and enjoys helping clients in Texas and North Carolina create estate plans that give them peace of mind.

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