Faculty Publications

Document Type


Publication Date



One should plan for unassuming post-mortem issues, as most state laws do not provide a complete framework when there is no testamentary instruction by the deceased. Judicial determination is often needed, however reported opinions are scarce. Final disposition issues also arise in foreign law. Spain has no civil code regarding disposition of a deceased but delegates its funerary laws to local governments and autonomous communities, while the French have established an order of priority for funerary decisions and provide for a judicial determination and stay of the funerary process in case of dispute.

The author gives a brief history of cremation, a review of certain state and country funerary and crematory services laws, and concludes with an analysis and suggestions on how states may provide for disputes among survivors, including that France’s proposed legislation to provide a legal status for cremated remains is a step in the right direction.