What is a designation of custodian of remains?

Did you know that many former presidents of the United States have detailed plans about their funerals and the disposition of their bodies?  Connecticut law gives you the ability to do the same thing.

Many people think that funeral plans should be included in a last will and testament.  Although nothing prohibits you from doing this, it's not the best way to express your wishes regarding the disposition of your remains.  That's because an original last will and testament is frequently retained by the lawyer that drafted it or kept in a secure location such as a safe deposit box at a bank.  In other words, it's frequently kept in a location that may not be immediately accessible.  After your passing, time may be of the essence in making appropriate arrangements.  The last thing you want your family doing is searching for your will to see if it gives them any guidance as to your wishes.  

Instead, you can prepare a document called a designation of custodian of remains.  This document allows you to designate a person that will have the legal authority to deal with a funeral director to make your final arrangements.  The document can be very simple, leaving all of the arrangements up to the person you designate.  Obviously though, you would want to make sure that you trust the person you name as custodian and have a conversation with that person about your wishes. 

The document can also be as elaborate as you want, specifying, for example, the type of disposition (burial or cremation) you want, the type of ceremony that should be held, and the place of interment.