While Missouri has had a right of sepulcher law for five years, there has been disagreement whether the law allowed an individual to override the preferences of his/her next-of-kin. The ambiguities of the original law left funeral directors in a quandary about following the instructions of designated agents. This led to confusion for many Missourians who thought they had a right to control their disposition.

Credit should be given the Missouri Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association for pressing legislation that will clarify Missouri residents can use a durable power of attorney to ensure their funeral or cremation preferences are carried out through a designated agent. HB 1871 has been recommended for passage, and its fate for becoming law will be decided in the next few weeks.