Disposition of Bodily Remains

A Power of Attorney (“POA”) is an important estate planning tool often used to allow a representative  to act on behalf of a person who is mentally or physical unable to handle their own financial, real estate, and health care decisions. While having these documents during your life is extremely important, most powers of attorney end when the person giving the authority to the representative passes. A power of attorney can serve as a very powerful tool after your death as well.

One POA that survives death under Ohio law is called a Disposition of Bodily Remains, or Declaration for Funeral Arrangements. This type of estate planning document allows you to appoint a representative for disposition of bodily remains, funeral arrangements and burial or cremation services.  While we often do not like to think about this stage of life, this document helps to ensure your family to carry out your wishes during an already difficult and stressful time.

In this POA, your representative acts on your behalf according to your preferences and instructions detailed in the document, which even identifies the source of funds that could be used to pay for your burial expenses. If you are concerned that your nearest relative will not honor your burial wishes, you can appoint a representative under a Declaration for Funeral Arrangements and that person will be responsible for your funeral arrangements according to your wishes.

If you’d like to learn more about creating a Declaration for Funeral Arrangements or how your wishes can be carried out through other Powers of Attorney, please contact Matthew R. Hochstetler or your Day Ketterer attorney at 330.455.0173, or via email at, mhochstetler@dayketterer.com.