Within the last few years, Michigan passed legislation, at the recommendation of the Funeral Directors Association, to allow Michigan residents the right to designate a funeral representative in writing to ensure your final wishes are achieved. The funeral representative has the right and power to make decisions about funeral arrangements and the handling, disposition, or disinterment of a decedent’s body, including, but not limited to, decisions about cremation, and the right to retrieve from the funeral establishment and possess cremated remains of the decedent immediately after cremation. MCL 700.3206(1).
To empower a funeral representative one must create a writing that designates the representative and this writing must be signed before two witnesses and a notary. You may identify preferences for cremation, church services, funeral homes, cemeteries, etc. If you do not state a preference, the funeral representative will make those decisions on your behalf. The goal of appointing a funeral representative is to minimize disputes amongst our loved ones and help provide clarity for those planning the final arrangements.