Navigating through the death of a friend or family member can be incredibly challenging, from managing grief to trying to fulfill last wishes and working through the legal requirements and documentation. The Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act is the law that regulates funeral services, cemeteries and crematoriums. This law also outlines who has final say around what happens to a loved one’s remains once they have passed on.

Section 5 of the Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act specifies, in priority order, who has the right to control the disposition of a loved one’s remains:

  1. The personal representative named in the will of the deceased;
  2. The spouse of the deceased;
  3. An adult child of the deceased;
  4. An adult grandchild of the deceased;
  5. If the deceased was a minor, a person who was a guardian who had care and control of the deceased at the date of death;
  6. A parent of the deceased;
  7. An adult sibling of the deceased;
  8. An adult nephew or niece of the deceased;
  9. An adult next of kin of the deceased, determined on the basis provided by section 23 (5) of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act;
  10. The minister under the Employment and Assistance Act, or if the Public Guardian and Trustee is administering the estate of the deceased under the Wills, Estates and Succession Act, the Public Guardian and Trustee;
  11. An adult person having a personal or kinship relationship with the deceased, other than those referred to in paragraphs (b) to (d) and (f) to (i).

You can find out more information on this topic, including a list of definitions, on the funeral services section of our website.


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