This article explores the issues surrounding funeral disputes and asks who is entitled to deal with the funeral arrangements when a person passes away.
A lot of people assume that the next of kin is entitled to deal with the funeral but that is not always the case.
The article emphasises the importance of ensuring that you prepare a Will so you can decide who has control over these matters when you pass away.
Who, then, is entitled to possession of the body? A hospital has the right to detain a body if it is deemed that the body may be infectious, or if someone has died from a notifiable disease. The coroner then has first right to take possession of the body. This is a right to take temporary possession, in order to determine the cause of death. If there is a will, the person entitled to possession is the named executor (whether a family member or not). If there is no will, it is the person who has priority on intestacy.