The Importance of An Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition
Recently, I had a person ask me why an Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition is so important.
A written declaration of who you want to control the disposition of your remains, this crucial document – absolutely paramount in the pre-planning process — can also specify your instructions for your funeral and burial/ cremation.
In New York State, this document is as crucial as a Will. Unlike the Will, however, which appoints an executor only through probate and the courts, the Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition is enforced immediately following death.
It’s important to note that the appointed agent is not financially responsible for the funeral charges of the decedent. Therefore, the funeral recipient should, in conjunction with the Appointment of Agent form, enter into a pre-funded, pre-need agreement with the funeral home.
The Appointment of Agent form is available from the funeral director, who will work in conjunction with the family or estate planning lawyer. The form will require two witnesses to fully execute the appointment. Once signed by all parties, one copy is retained by the funeral home and the other is kept by the appointed agent.
If needed, the form allows for one or two successors. This helps to alleviate the need to re-enter into another Appointment of Agent if the Agent predeceased, unavailable or unwilling to act as your Agent.
Just to be clear, this Appointment of Agent form does not take the place of a Will.
Please feel free to contact New York Atlantic Funeral Services to further explain the necessity for the NYS Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition and other pre-planning forms.