This week, the coronavirus pandemic raised the issue of forced cremations. Following concerns raised by a group of MPs including Bradford’s Naz Shah MP, the Government revised its Coronavirus Bill to ensure that faith communities – in particular those from a Muslim and Jewish background – are able to bury the deceased instead of cremating in the event of significant deaths due to Coronavirus.
We recognise this will have worried many of you. So how can you protect your burial rights?
In general, your funeral wishes are noted in your Last Will & Testament. The executors of your will are the decision makers for your funeral arrangements. However, they are not obliged to follow any funeral wishes expressed in the Will. Unfortunately, this can lead to disagreements between loved ones.
To ensure your wishes are protected, you can:
- clearly discuss and outline the detailed arrangements of your funeral with family members
- include any plans directly in your Will i.e. your preference between burial / cremation, type of service, eco-friendly options, location etc
You can write your own Will. To ensure the document is legally valid, it will need to be witnessed in person by two people. Your witnesses cannot be related to you (find out more here). If you choose to use a solicitor, SKB Law offers a fast and affordable service with prices starting at £180 (includes VAT). Due to coronavirus, we are providing an ‘at-home’ witnessing service from a safe social distance. If you have any questions, book your free 30 minute phone consultation on 01274 727373.
*please note that in an effort to protect everyone, many councils have changed their practices for burials and cremations. You should review your local council’s website for more details.*