Burial Disputes in Florida

Burial Disputes in Florida

Unfortunately, sometimes families disagree over the last will and wishes of loved ones. Yet what happens when a family fights over how and where the decedent’s funeral and burial should take place?

While it may sound unusual for brothers, sisters and other family members to argue over the details of a loved one’s final resting place and manner, it is actually a fairly common dispute. One way to avoid fighting among family members in regards to where you should be laid to rest is to incorporate burial instructions into your last will and testament.

In Florida, there are laws designed to help prevent such disputes from arising. These include the following:

  • Statute 765.514This statute discusses the manner in which you can make anatomical gifts. You may wish to donate certain organs to hospitals and medical centers. Or, you may wish to donate your entire body to science. You may do so by signing an organ donor card, registering online with the organ donor registry, stating an intent to donate on your driver’s license or identification card issued by the government, expressing a wish to donate through a living will, executing a will with an anatomical gift provision, and expressing a wish to donate in a document other than a will. You must sign the document, along with two witnesses.
  • Statute 732.804 — This law explains that when cremation is in accordance with a written direction signed by the decedent, the written direction is a complete defense to a cause of action against the personal representative or person acting on the written direction.

For more detailed information on incorporating a burial or cremation directive into your will in Florida, or for help contesting a will you believe to be invalid or incongruous with the decedent’s wishes, consult an estate planning lawyer.