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What Is an Appointment of Representation Form?

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appointment_of_representation_formWhen someone passes, the immediate family is left with balancing both their own grief and preparing funeral arrangements. From informing friends and other family members to making important decisions related to final arrangements, the process is undoubtedly overwhelming. And it’s generally even more difficult if there are disagreements within the family regarding funeral planning.

To alleviate some of the complications that can come with preparing funeral arrangements after you pass, you can document your final wishes by preplanning.

As part of the preplanning process, there are certain efforts that can be made to help guide loved ones through coordinating final arrangements. One of those steps is preparing an appointment of representation form.

What does an appointment of representation form do?

The appointment of representation form is filled out during either preplanning arrangements or estate planning. According to Ohio's Revised Code 2108.72: Written Declaration of Assignment, it defines who has the authority to decide the disposition method (for example, either cremation or burial), how that person will pay for it and what funds they should use. While your appointed representative is up to you and your relationship with that person, it’s common to appoint a surviving spouse, child or sibling.

It also grants them authorization to make decisions on funeral arrangements including:

  • Crematory operator (if applicable).
  • Embalmer (if applicable).
  • Funeral director.
  • Funeral home.
  • Location of final resting place.

Many people believe that a power of attorney or a documented will have the ability to make final arrangement decisions after they pass. However, this is simply not the case—power of attorney expires at death, making appointing representation even more important. The same goes for a will—someone indicating his or her desire for cremation in their will is also not viable, for instance.

How will my appointment of representation form be used after I pass?

Your appointment of representation will serve as the definitive source of truth for your end-of-life plans and will define exactly what your final wishes are. It eliminates any guesswork or debate among family members that can sometimes come with funeral planning.

Think of it this way: If you have several kids or estranged family members, a funeral home may need each individual to authorize your final wishes depending on your preferences. If the funeral home cannot get a hold of each next of kin or someone is unwilling to sign off, this can complicate final arrangements and your family’s grieving process.

How do I fill out an appointment of representation form?

Completing the appointment of representation form is a crucial part of the preplanning process. While it can seem like a very technical and legal process, a preplanning advisor or funeral director can help complete the form and decide who the best person to grant authority would be.  

This form will play a huge role in helping the funeral planning process and will also provide the preparer the peace of mind that there will be no conflict or confusion upon their passing.

Get Peace of Mind: Start the Preplanning Process

For more information on preplanning and to begin the process, download our free guide The Seniors’ Guide to Funeral Arrangements for insight on the benefits of arranging your funeral ahead of time.

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Julie Graf Skinner
Julie Graf Skinner
Funeral director, embalmer and licensed insurance agent helping families make wise decisions about preplanning for nearly 30 years. Photography and crafting are just some of Julie’s creative outlets. Graciously serving Busch families since 1999.

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