If my brother died and his girlfriend and I are listed as the beneficiaries of his life insurance policy, does she have rights to make decisions regarding his remains?

He died unexpectedly.

Asked on August 14, 2014 under Estate Planning, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Being beneficiaries of his life insurance policy has nothing to do with the right to make decisions about his remains. His closest surving relative(s) have that right: if he has adult children, they can make the decision; if no children, your parents, if still alive; if no children or parents, you and any other siblings. A girlfriend has no rights in this regard unless he had some document (e.g. a will) giving her said right.

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