Can I be held legally responsible for not burying a person as specified in their will, if there are not enough funds in the estate?

  • 1
    where? Some countries have rules on what is a legal disposal, others not so much.
    – Trish
    May 10, 2021 at 7:37
  • I agree that knowing where this is would be helpful in giving an answer useful to the OP, but by policy lack of jurisdiction is not reason to close, an answer specifying any jurisdiction can be valid. May 10, 2021 at 15:00

1 Answer 1


An executor is not bound by the disposal requests in a will

Related: Who is responsible for the disposal of a body when there are no directives in the deceased's will?

If there are insufficient funds in the estate or the deceased person’s requests are not in the interests of the beneficiaries, then the executor can ignore them.

If a person is dead-set on particular funeral arrangements, they can contract and pay for those arrangements while they are still alive.

  • I want the most expensive coffin, with gold handles instead of gold plated handles. Costs £50,000. The money is in my bank account. Clearly not in the interest of my beneficiaries. Can the executor ignore that?
    – gnasher729
    May 10, 2021 at 12:07
  • The answer is clear @gnasher729
    – Dale M
    May 10, 2021 at 21:40
  • As a procedural side point - most people have their body disposed of in a funeral before the will is admitted to probate and thus recognized as legally valid. Colorado has a mandatory five day waiting period before that can happen, for example. Funeral expenses are usually high priority claims in probate if incurred and to the extent that funds are sufficient.
    – ohwilleke
    May 10, 2021 at 23:29

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