The days immediately following a loved-one’s death are extremely emotional and can be further complicated by having to make decisions regarding the loved-one’s funeral, and whether they are to be buried or cremated. 

While it may be difficult, it is important that you check your loved-ones Will during this time.  In their Will they may have noted their preferred funeral arrangements and whether they would like to be cremated or buried.    

We have seen funeral arrangement wishes in Wills range from songs to be played at the funeral, to the will-maker’s preferred venue, to the dress code for attendees.  Having some direction from your loved-one during this planning stage can be comforting, as you may feel as though some of the decisions regarding the funeral have already been made by them. 

Wills can record whether that person wishes to be buried or cremated, and the location they would like to be buried or their ashes to be scattered.  We are also seeing more and more Wills record that if the will-maker dies overseas they wish to remain where they have passed away in order to save costs and save further stress for their family.  

If you feel strongly about funeral arrangements or what you would like to happen to your body when you pass away, you should record this in your Will.  Once you have recorded your wishes, we recommend that you talk to your family about these provisions so that they are all aware that this information is recorded in your Will.  If you talk to your family about these provisions early, you alleviate the risk that your wishes become a point of contention amongst the family

It is important to note that wishes contained in Wills regarding such matters are not absolute, and it may follow that an impractical or controversial wish may be ignored by the executors of your Will in some circumstances.  

Laurie Pallett

Registered Legal Executive