Wills factor into planning funerals at funeral homes in Skaneateles, NY. If you die without a will, however, it can cause a real hardship for your family. A will is a legal document that expresses what you want to happen after you die. With a will, you can specify funeral instructions and you can distribute your assets among your family members and friends.
You may not have a will because you do not want to think about dying. You may think it takes a lot of time and money to create a will. Whatever your reasons are for not having a will, you should take a little time to think about what will happen to your family if you die without one.
Dying without a will is legally called dying intestate. The implications of not having a will when you die start the moment you draw your last breath.
Even if you have preplanned your funeral, the funeral home must have permission from the executor of your estate – which you name in your will – to proceed with funeral arrangements after your death.
If you do not have a will, then there is no executor to give the funeral home permission to take care of your funeral arrangements. Therefore, it will be left up in the air to decide who has the ability to allow the funeral home to move forward with your funeral.
Your estate and affairs will go into probate with a court if you die without a will. The court can appoint an administrator – either a family member or a neutral third party – to settle your estate and make funeral arrangements.
When the court appoints family members to be administrators of your estate, they will appoint them in this order:
- Adult children
- Other relatives
If there are people in this court-appointed order that you do not want to be involved in administering your estate, then you need to create a will as soon as possible to make sure you have control over who will settle your estate and take care of making funeral arrangements.
You may not be aware that you can create the will yourself, using online resources or software that is designed to handle estate planning. A will is legally valid as long as you have signed and dated it. However, it is prudent to have any will you create yourself notarized with impartial witnesses.
There are independent and traveling notaries who can provide witnesses and who can notarize your will for a nominal fee. You can also check with your bank to see if they provide notary services. If they do, it is usually free.
Not having a named executor in a will can create a lot of family conflicts when it comes to making your funeral arrangements. Since you have not s
pecified what you want for your funeral, everyone gets a shot at deciding what kind of funeral you should have.
There are bound to be disagreements. These may become so contentious that it delays your funeral. Additionally, these contentions can cause deep – and, sometimes, permanent – fissures among your family members that have the potential to destroy even the closest relationships.
This is why it is important for you to have a will and to talk with your family about what you want for your funeral.