Texas law states who is entitled to control a person’s cremated remains.

Dallas Estate Planning Lawyer The Ashmore Law Firm

According to the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) the cremation rate in the United States rose from 47 percent in 2014 to 48.6 percent in 2015. CANA projects that the U.S. cremation rate will reach 54.3 percent by 2020.

Texas has strict laws as to who may authorize cremation and who has the legal right to control the remains.

Texas Health and Safety Code 711.002 states that unless a decedent has left directions in writing for the disposition of the decedent's remains, the following persons, in the priority listed, have the right to control the disposition, including cremation of the decedent's remains, and are liable for the cost:

  1. The person designated in a written instrument signed by the decedent (disposition of remains);
  2. The decedent's surviving spouse;
  3. Any one of the decedent's surviving adult children;
  4. Either one of the decedent's surviving parents;
  5. Any one of the decedent's surviving adult siblings;
  6. Any one or more of the duly qualified executors or administrators of the decedent's estate; or
  7. Any adult person in the next degree of kinship in the order named by law to inherit the estate of the decedent.


Having a disposition of remains in place that clearly states where you want your remains to go will be very helpful to your loved ones in the event of your death.

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Lori Ashmore Peters
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Helping Dallas, Park Cities, Highland Park Texas Area Families with Estate Planning, Probate & Litigation
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