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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Five months before she died, Barbara P. Jordy Carruth executed a durable power of attorney in favor of her daughter Yvonne Alden. At that time, Barbara also executed a declaration of guardian in the event of later capacity, also naming Alden as the guardian. The declaration expressly stated that Barbara’s husband, Hunter Carruth, was not to act as guardian for Barbara’s person or estate. On Feb. 10, 2002, Barbara and Alden signed a contract with SCI Funeral Services Inc. to prearrange funeral services for Barbara at Forest Park Westheimer Funeral Home. Barbara died Feb. 27. On the day she died, Hunter learned that Barbara’s body had been sent to Forest Park and contacted the business. Apparently having been instructed by Alden, Forest Park denied receiving Barbara’s body or knowing of burial services for her. When Hunter learned that Forest Park had indeed performed burial services for Barbara, pursuant to the Feb. 10 contract, he sued the funeral home for intentional infliction of emotional distress and violations of Health & Safety Code �711.002. The trial court granted summary judgment for the funeral home. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court notes that the undisputed evidence establishes that Barbara appointed Alden as her attorney in fact, gave Alden permission to act in Barbara’s stead, and that Alden executed a contract for prearranged funeral services. Hunter argues that �711.002(i) prevents a funeral home from avoiding liability when it fails to grant preference in planning funeral arrangements to surviving spouses, as listed in �711.002(a)(2). The court points out, however, that the �711.002(a)(1) also contemplates the situation where a decedent leaves written instructions on how his or her remains are to be disposed of. Such written instructions take precedence over any other person’s right to control disposal of the remains. “Because in disposing of Barbara’s remains, [the funeral home] was carrying out the written directions of Barbara herself as expressed by Alden, and [the funeral home] was also relying on the directions of Alden as the person entitled to control the disposition of Barbara’s remains, [it is] entitled to immunity to [Hunter's] claims under section 711.002(i).” OPINION:Keyes, J.; Nuchia, Keyes and Hanks, JJ.

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