Funeral Legal Advice Urgent

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barry1010 | 09:48 Sat 31st Jul 2021 | Law
20 Answers
Just had a very distressing call from our good friend.
Her husband died two days ago, not unexpected, in hospital. No post mortem needed and he was collected by the funeral directors yesterday. The plan has always been a burial, double plot for both of them.
This morning my friend has found paperwork that shows her husband pre-paid for a 'direct to crem' service by one of the companies that advertises heavily on the tv.
My friend really does not want this. She can only conclude that her husband has tried to 'do the right thing' and save her the trouble of arranging a funeral.

She is tempted to go ahead with her own funeral arrangements of a traditional service and burial in a double plot. She is not bothered about getting a refund or anything like that - she'd prefer the company not to know. She hasn't told the funeral director that she has engaged.

Can she do this? Would there be any legal repercussions? She can't face telling her grown up children in case they feel that their dad's wishes should be followed. My friend cannot believe that this is what he really wanted, she thinks he has been swayed by the adverts.


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Well here we go.....the wishes of the dead versus the wishes of the living.
I would not tell ANYONE about the prepaid cremation a d go ahead with the burial.
I am not familiar with the Law, but I cannot see any legal complications.
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Thanks, Sqad, that's my instinct, too and is probably what I would do.
Different when it's somebody else, though. She's in a terrible state about it.
Am not sure who would want to take legal action Barry. Can only think of another family member but doubt it. Certainly not a police matter
I can quite understand that barry.
When I arranged a "direct to crematorium" funeral three years ago, I wasn't "swayed by the adverts"...because there weren't any at the time. It was that I considered it an eminently sensible thing to do.
Please accept my condolences.
If you have the details of the double plot etc. I would go ahead with that and not worry.
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I don't think for a minute it's a criminal matter - more of a civil law and moral one.
These companies don't search out the obituaries looking for their 'customers', do they? The company wouldn't know he had died unless they were told?

ginge, I'm pleased you found a funeral you want. Direct to crem funerals right for some, not for everyone. Certainly not for my friend.
Can she do this?
yes - the executor has the right ( and duty ) to dispose of the body

Would there be any legal repercussions?
No - - the crem firm saying we will enforce the contract is akin to body snatching

She can't face telling her grown up children in case they feel that their dad's wishes should be followed. - she probably will anyway

problem solved

I think most of this is that she is distraught over her partners death
No it is clearly NOT a criminal matter.
|She is mourning and setting up what Chmn Mayo wd say was a
'paper tiger'

wd ve said then
Evidence that funerals really are for the living, not for the dead. I want to be carted off directly to the crematorium with no one there and no fuss. I doubt my family will respect my wishes though.
Me too naomi.
Question Author
You're right, naomi.
My wife is now on the phone to our friend. She is telling her to post the paperwork to us (so it can't be found and out of sight is out of mind) and to keep her appointment with the funeral director and go ahead as planned.
After all, that is what she would have done had she not found the paperwork.

Thanks all for the comments, it has helped us think with perspective.
Pleased you've sorted it, barry. Such a rotten time for anyone.
This happened sort of with my mil. She had always stated she didnt want a cremation and she hated the thought. One of her last words were to my sister in law about not being cremated. However, she died owing more than she had and despite having 5 children none if them were in a position to fund a funeral of the type she wanted. So she was cremated. As far as I know, no one feels guilty
It makes me sad that some people will make such decisions without consulting their family/friends. Funerals are for the benefit of the survivors so it seems common sense to consult those very close to you before you make a decision.
she has consulted her friends - barry and wife.
bednobs - I was referring to the husband.
Question Author
I agree, bhg. Our friends had discussed funerals as he had been so ill for a long time and they wanted a double plot. They are the sort of people that regularly visit graves of their loved ones and find comfort from it, that's why this discovery was such a shock.
My friend has gone to sit with her husband for a while at the funeral directors. I think she'll be having a few words!
as we are on a bit of a lighter note (sorry about your friend), we recently buried my daughter and bought a triple plot so me and husband could both be buried there too. now i feel a huge responsibility to die first so he can go on top forever :)
actually, thinking about it, my will says i want to be cremated, better do something about that!
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