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If you are arranging a funeral, you should consider the wishes of the deceased.
A deceased may have left instructions about what they want to happen at their funeral. These instructions could have been something that the deceased said before they died, or something they wrote down in a note or letter.
The deceased may have also had:
You cannot cremate a deceased person who has made a written direction that they are not to be cremated. Any other directions about a funeral that a deceased person made in their will are not legally binding.
A will is a written document that sets out the intentions of a person and explains how their estate will be distributed after they die. The person making the will is called the 'testator' (male) or 'testatrix' (female).
Not all wills have directions about the funeral. If the deceased did make directions in their will, this is simply a statement of what funeral arrangements the deceased wanted.
If you are an executor in the will you should ensure that you try to carry out the deceased's wishes and organise the funeral as directed in the will. This may reduce disputes among the families and friends of the deceased, who may feel strongly about the deceased's wishes.
The specific directions may include:
In some circumstances it may not possible to hold a funeral the way the deceased intended. For example, there may not be enough money in the estate, or the directions are unreasonable or difficult to carry out. If you are arranging and paying for the funeral, you may make arrangements that you consider to be appropriate.
If there is no money in the deceased's estate to pay for the funeral you should consider what other options are available.
For more information, see
Paying for the funeral.
If a deceased person has paid for their funeral before they died, the written agreement they made with the funeral director may include specific directions for the funeral.
The funeral director should ensure that the deceased's wishes are followed.