Prior to adoption of the Colorado Disposition of Last remains Act in 2003, funeral or burial instructions could be found in a person's will, powers of attorney or separate instructions.
Why was this problematic?
1.First it needed to be admitted to probate.
2. Powers of attorney terminate upon the death of the principal.
3. Often there were no instructions whatsoever, they were not found in time or were ignored.
4. In the absence of instructions or agreement amoung survivors, a contest could develop as to who had authority to arrange disposition of the body.
Third parties may now rely upon a written Declaration Disposition of Last remains signed by declarant.
Why is this better?
1. The presumption that it was validly excuted.
2. The declarant was competent at the time.
3. The declaration has not been revoked.
The declaration may direct who is authorized to make decisions, disposition of last remains,and the ceremonial arrangement to follow the declarant's death. It is binding on interested parties and controls in case of conflict with other arrangements or directions of others.
A will has no validity until probate and may not be found right away. By having a Disposition of Last Remains it is a separate document from your will and can be acted on right away and does not have to go through probate. What this means is that your final burial wishes will be executed upon your death.