Q: I have recently been widowed after a thirty-year marriage. My late husband did not leave a Will, but as we held all our accounts jointly his estate passed to me. My husband and I had very specific wishes about our funerals, and I want mine to replicate his as much as possible. When my husband died, I was able to oversee his arrangements and pay for the funeral. However, I am concerned about my own funeral, and how it will be paid for, as no one will have access to my funds.
A: You may wish to speak with your chosen funeral director about this to see if getting a funeral plan in place might be the most suitable option for you.
However, if you do not have a Will then it would be advisable to get one prepared, firstly so that you can determine to whom your estate will pass and secondly so that you can express your funeral wishes within the Will. Funeral wishes are not legally binding, so you may want to think carefully about who to choose to act as executors in your Will to wind up your estate and ensure that they follow your funeral wishes as far as they can.
In addition to this, most banks will permit the funeral costs to be paid after your death, even if your executors cannot access the funds within the particular account before obtaining probate. The people responsible for arranging your funeral, or your executors, can present your funeral invoice to your bank and request that the same be paid so that they are not out of pocket themselves. However, if they do pay towards the whole or part of the funeral then they can still be reimbursed from the estate once funds are collected in. This advice is based on your estate being solvent at the date of your death.
This question has been answered by Ulia Choudhry, a Solicitor with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients. Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194