Who is responsible for arranging the funeral?

My dad passed away, having named my brother as executor. My brother doesn't want to have a funeral for my dad, even though the rest of the family wants to have one. Can we just go ahead and organize the funeral anyways?



Sidney, BC

Where the deceased left a will, the executor named in the will is responsible for arranging the funeral and paying the funeral expenses from the deceased’s estate.

If the executor is unwilling to give instructions, the law sets out a priority order of who can step in to do so. Here is the law in play. The right to give instructions passes to the person who is next in priority. After the executor, next in priority is the spouse of the deceased, followed by the adult children of the deceased, the adult grandchildren, a parent of the deceased, an adult sibling, an adult nephew or niece, and so on. If there is more than one person in a group, the oldest person has priority unless the group agrees differently.

If the deceased did not leave a will, the same priority order applies, starting with the spouse of the deceased.

Stephen Hsia

Stephen Hsia

Miller Thomson
  • This information applies to British Columbia, Canada
  • Reviewed for legal accuracy in April 2021

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