Funeral Decisions

Virginia Code § 54.1-2825, designate in a notarized writing, an individual who shall make arrangements and be otherwise responsible for his funeral and the disposition of his remains [cremation, interment, entombment, memorialization]

The designee haspriority over all persons otherwise entitled to make such arrangements, provided that a copy of the signed and notarized writing is provided to the funeral home and/or cemetery no later than 48 hours after the funeral home receives the decedent's remains.

Otherwise all "next of Kin' have a say and conflict from committee decision making occurs. 

"Next of kin" includes the decedent's
 (i) spouse
(ii) child over 18 years of age
(iii) custodial parent
(iv) noncustodial parent
(v) siblings over 18 years of age
(vi) guardian of a minor child
(vii) guardian of a minor sibling
(viii) maternal grandparents
(ix) paternal grandparents
(x) maternal siblings over 18 years of age
(xi) paternal siblings over 18 years of age
(xii) any other relative in the descending order of blood relationship.  

Attribution to, a premier law firm in southern Virginia.

Lesson: Virginia Code leads to conflict because it does not does not prioritize "next of kin" to make funeral and burial decisions. Thus, first in time usually prevails absent a lawsuit or other agreement between feuding next of kin.