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Should a will contain funeral instructions?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Firm News

To make sure your estate plans are implemented, you should know how to express your wishes clearly while also ensuring that all relevant parties will have your instructions when they need them. This is true not only while addressing your assets, but your funeral and burial as well.

You might consider placing your funeral instructions in your last will and testament. However, this might prove to be a mistake. In fact, there is a good chance you will not receive the burial you want.

Possible problems with using a will

While there is nothing legally unsound about listing funeral plans in a will, one problem is that the law does not consider your body as property, so it does not become part of your estate. Since your executor only oversees whatever assets are in your estate, the person may lack authority to handle your funeral and burial.

A more common issue is when your family will read your will. In many cases, heirs do not even receive the will until after the burial of the decedent. So your loved ones may make funeral arrangements for you before learning of your true intentions.

Writing a letter of instruction

To make sure your family can obtain your funeral instructions without delay, consider writing a letter of instruction. This is a document that often acts as a supplement to a will. You can leave it with your executor, family members or anyone else that needs to know how to carry out your funeral. You may also use your letter to express any personal sentiments to your family.

You should never have to worry that your family will unintentionally overlook any estate instructions you leave for them. Fortunately, estate planning presents various options to help you convey your final wishes.