The best course of action in ensuring your death plan will be carried out is to fill out final disposition authorization and vital statistics forms. These documents should be filled out in their entirety, saved in a secure location (physical & digital) as well as being shared with your next of kin / designated agent. It is our recommendation to have a shared drive with your next of kin / designated agent so they can easily access the documents when the time comes. They can then send these documents to the funeral director who will be providing your funerary care.
Disposition Authorization & Vital Statistics
The Disposition Authorization allows you to authorize your choice of final disposition as well as your final resting place. The forms can be filled out digitally or printed and signed to then be kept with your important papers. Be sure to discuss your wishes with your survivors and let them know where your original documents are filed so they can present them to the funeral home at time of death. This can only be signed by you. A Power of Attorney or Spouse cannot sign this form.
Vital Statistics contains all the necessary information needed to fill out the death certificate. By filling this out, it can save your next of kin / designated agent from needing to know all the information at the time of the arrangement meeting with the funeral director. This information is referred to as vital because the death certificate and subsequent permits for executing your final disposition cannot be carried out without this information.
A Designated Agent is your named representative for carrying out your funeral arrangements. This person will be the only point of contact that your funeral director will work with. This form may be particularly important if you have no living blood relatives or are no-contact with your biological kin. It will be useful to designate an agent if you feel that your biological relatives may not honor your wishes or you anticipate there may be conflict over your choice of final arrangements.