Tips for Solving Family Disagreements Over Burial and Cremation Decisions

Emotions run high after the loss of a loved one, and sometimes, family disputes flare up while decisions are being made about burial and cremation. Sometimes, family members may disagree over whether a loved one would have preferred burial or cremation, or in other instances, they may agree on that central issue but fail to see eye to eye over the type of interment space or memorial. When these disputes occur, these tips will help you navigate the tension during an already difficult time.  

Plan a Time to Talk 

Disagreements can become angrier and more extreme than anyone had intended when family members allow arguments to escalate. Instead of having a blowup, when you realize you don’t agree on the final arrangements for a loved one, schedule a time to discuss the issues when everyone is calm and prepared. Recognize when discussions are not productive and stop them, instead of allowing them to escalate. Revisit the issue when everyone is calm.  

Understand Who Should Make the Final Decision 

In some cases, your loved one may have requested that a specific family member take charge of making final arrangements. California law states that the right to make the decision goes first to the person holding the Health Care Power of Attorney, then to the surviving spouse, and then to the children. Recognize whose right it is to have the final say and respect their position. It will alleviate some of the pressure on everyone, so you can all focus on your grief and supporting each other.  

Consider Preventing Future Disputes 

Family disagreements are difficult to cope with at the best of times, and after the death of a loved one, they are even more painful. A good way to keep some of these disputes from arising is to pre-plan funeral and cemetery services, so that there are no lingering questions about final wishes.  

Inglewood Park Cemetery can assist with pre-planning cemetery services and help to walk families through all of their options after a loved one passes away. Contact our cemetery in the Los Angeles area for more information about gravestones, cremation, and interment spaces.

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