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Power of attorney agent may have say in Maryland funeral plans

Making funeral arrangements for a recently deceased loved one can be a difficult task for any Maryland residents. The situation may become even more complicated if the decedent did not make his or her wishes known. In some cases, conflicts may arise when it comes to who will make the funeral decisions, and surviving family members may have questions. However, if a power of attorney agent was appointed, he or she may have final say.

If such conflicts do come about, there are various individuals who may be considered responsible for the decision making. In some cases, a deceased party may have left an advanced directive that named a responsible party as an agent to carry out the funeral decisions. Such a directive may even be made without being part of other estate planning documents. 

If there is no advanced directive and a power of attorney agent had been appointed, that individual may have the power to make the arrangements in the event of disagreements. Though many powers granted to an agent end after an individual's death, the agent may still have the power to determine how the individual's remains are laid to rest. Therefore, individuals who have named such an agent may wish to review their appointment if they were unaware of the potential to grant this authority. 

Though many families are often able to make such decisions together without great conflict, it is not unheard of for disputes to take place. Therefore, individuals may wish to take the time to detail their funeral wishes as part of their estate plan. Discussing these concerns with experienced attorneys may help Maryland residents better express their desired plans and understand what powers may be given to a power of attorney agent. 

Source:, "Who makes final arrangements?", Christopher Yugo, Dec. 11, 2016

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