Your Funeral Arrangements

Making plans for our funeral arrangements before the time arrives can ease the emotional burden on our families.  It also allows us to make decisions, personal to us, about whether we opt for a burial or cremation, down to where we wish our ashes to be scattered. 

The recent BBC series "Can't take it with you" highlighted this and as a result has helped to raise awareness about what many people find to be a difficult topic.

Many of us think that because we have told a family member about our funeral wishes that they will carry out these wishes.  In many cases those that we discuss this with may not be legally placed to make these decisions for us. 

If there is no will the law sets out a list of people, in priority order, who have the right to decide your funeral arrangements.  This begins with a surviving spouse and moves through to children, parents, siblings and so on.  Where a couple may have lived together without being married, it would fall to the parents of the deceased to make decisions regarding the funeral. 

The way to ensure that our wishes are carried out is to have a will in place.  Leaving a will means that there will be executors who will ensure that your wishes are carried out.  Be sure that your executors know that they are named in the will and discuss with them the arrangements that you want for your funeral, as sometimes a will reading will not take place until after the funeral.  Finally you should ensure that your will is stored safely to prevent it being lost, or damaged, which may call its validity into question.