It is stressful when a death occurs, especially if unexpected. There is grief. Emotions run high. Practical issues press. There are the funeral and other arrangements to make. It is not uncommon to find that the funeral has happened before the will is found, and the deceased’s wishes in that document have not in fact been followed.
That is why it makes much sense to make your funeral wishes known to your friends and family in such a way that they have no doubt about what you want. This could be effected through discussion, or put in writing in a separate document which stands a better chance of being consulted earlier than a will, which may be stored in a bank or solicitor’s office.
But in any event if you find yourself in the position of having to deal unexpectedly with this kind of situation make immediate enquiries about a will and its whereabouts.
For those of us who are making a will or revising an old one remember that the will is not the complete answer. You need to take steps to ease the burden of those who will wind up your affairs. An excellent guide has been published recently. It is called “Last Orders – The Essential Guide to Your Letter of Wishes”.