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Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains

by | Apr 16, 2021 | Wills and Estates |

While it is perhaps the grimmest of estate planning documents, the Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains (DOR) should not be left out of this discussion. The DOR is a document in which you appoint an agent to carry out your wishes regarding what happens to your body when you die.

You may be wondering why this is necessary. Most families set funeral and burial plans for their loved ones without trouble. However, sometimes your wishes and the wishes of your family members are not the same. Sometimes family members disagree on even the basic things such as whether to have a burial or a cremation. If you know how you want your remains to be handled after you die, it is best to put it in writing.

Many people believe that these wishes can be stated in a Will, but this is a common misconception. Your Will must be admitted to probate for it to have any effect, which takes time. This is time that your family simply does not have when determining what to do with your body. By the time your Will is probated (which may take up to a month or longer), what to do with your remains would become a moot decision. A DOR provides instructions that can be effected immediately.

Please see our previous posts on estate planning:  — Do I Need a Will? — Do I Need a Power of Attorney? — Living Wills and Health Care Proxies: What’s the Difference?

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