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Category: Funeral Directive

Festive Funeral Directives and Payment from Estate

Posted on Tue Sep 15, 2015, on Funeral Directive

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My father recently died a resident of Philadelphia and I am the executor of his estate. The will says that he wants $5,000 spent for his wake at his favorite stripper bar. My sister is going to be upset. Can she stop me from honoring dad’s wishes? I read on your site that funerals and wakes are deductible. Is a wake at a striper bar deductible?

In some cultures, the wake is a festive event. In others, it is a somber event.

Your dad went for festive.

His putting his wish in the will and giving you a specific dollar amount puts you on firm ground. If he had just told you this wish without putting it into writing, your sister could more easily stop the wake or later demand that you pay for it out of your share.

What do I do if my son is refusing to bury me in New York?

Posted on Fri Aug 14, 2015, on Funeral Directive

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My husband died many years ago and is buried in Florida. I moved back to New York and plan to die a New Yorker. It is important to me that at my death I am buried here in New York. The problem is that my only son is my executor and he wants to bury me with my husband in Florida. I feel that after I die he will not respect my wishes. How do I make sure my wishes are respected?

New York gives you the power to nominate a person in your will who controls all aspects of your funeral arrangements and internment. It is important in your case to utilize that power, otherwise at your death your son as executor and as the only child will have complete control.

Specific Funeral Directives in New Jersey – My wife does not believe in cremation!

Posted on Wed Jul 15, 2015, on Funeral Directive

From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: It is important to me that at my death I am cremated. I find the idea of a being buried in a casket ridiculous. The problem is that my wife will not carry out this wish. She wants us buried next to each other in her New Jersey family plot. How do I make sure my wishes are respected?

If you do not make any specific statement about final burial arrangements in your will, then the matter could end up in litigation-with your wife’s opinion being the one that the court finally enforces.

New Jersey Rules on Funeral Directives – What You Should Know

Posted on Thu Feb 5, 2015, on Funeral Directive

Often the most sensitive question when estate planning – where and how do you want your remains disposed? I realize this appears morbid, but it is a necessary consideration. In New Jersey, the State has established default rules when a Will is silent on the issue, or if the testator fails to designate a specific person with authority over the decision. Similar to intestacy, these rules are utilitarian in nature. As with any one-size fits all rule, there will likely be family conflict and litigation.

How to Arrange for a Military Funeral

Posted on Thu Sep 1, 2011, on Funeral Directive

One of the first calls I received after reporting for duty as a United States Navy JAG in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was from a family in Burlington County, New Jersey. The week before the call the family had buried their Grandfather. The Grandfather had been a WWII Navy vet. After the funeral they looked at his Will and found that his estate plan included a burial at sea. They wanted to know what to do.

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