A Funeral Directive appoints a person or several persons to hold the power to organize your funeral and deposition of your remains. This person authorizes a memorial, says who can and cannot attend your funeral and if you are cremated or buried at sea.
In a world of second marriages and blended families, appointing a responsible, diplomatic Funeral Director can make the difference between peace in the family and years of conflict. Further, if you have specific requests around your funeral or burial, you are relying on this person to use their force of will to make these plans a reality.
We make it a practice to try and get clients to make this appointment in their Wills. This person can be a spouse or the executor, but this is not a requirement.
- Example: Mr. Jones is married to Mrs. Jones, his second wife and live in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He has two children from a prior marriage. Mr. Jones wants to be buried in his family plot in Philadelphia. He has explained this to his family and his wife. Mr. Jones dies without a Funeral Directive, naming his wife as Executor. Mrs. Jones decides to bury Mr. Jones at her family plot in Salem County, New Jersey. Because Mr. Jones failed to execute a Funeral Directive, his wife’s wishes will most likely be honored.
- Example: Ms. Smith has lived with Mr. Jones for 20 years. They share a home, investments but no children. Mr. Jones has a son from a marriage that ended in divorce. Mr. Smith dies. Ms. Smith wishes to have Mr. Smith cremated and take his ashes with her to Florida. Mr. Smith’s son wishes to bury Mr. Smith in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Because Mr. Jones failed to appoint Ms. Smith in his Funeral Directive, she will have no say in where he is buried.
- Example: Mr. Jacobs names his second wife, Mrs. Jacobs, in his Funeral Directive. She is given full powers. After his death, Mrs. Jacobs refuses to include his children in the funeral. Mrs. Jacobs has the right to exclude his children.
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If you have any questions about Funeral Directives or any other estate planning topics, Please contact us to schedule a free consultation. For more than two decades Klenk Law has focused only on Estate Law. We’ve seen it all, and this experience allows us to explain complex estate planning techniques clearly and concisely. We make it easy for you to understand Funeral Directives and Estate Planning so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family.