Funerals during coronavirus

Many people choose to include simple funeral wishes within their Will. 

If you have detailed wishes, we recommend that you write a Letter of Instruction to cover the type and detail of the service that you would want. Some people also list the hymns and/or music to be played.

In a Will, funeral instructions are generally expressed as “I WISH” or “I WOULD LIKE” rather than “I MUST”. This may seem unusual, as Wills must be clear and certain: so why are these expressed only as a wish? 

Funeral instructions are drafted in that way to give your Executor flexibility to deal with situations like those in which we currently find ourselves. You may wish for a full church service for example, but sadly this is not possible at the moment. Expressing your intentions as a wish, enables your Executor to do the best that they can, whatever the circumstances.

Funerals are a very different experience during the pandemic and the absence of the usual, or hoped for rituals to say goodbye to loved ones can have a profound impact on those who are grieving. 

Currently, attendance at a funeral is restricted to members of the deceased’s household or close family members only. Often numbers are strictly limited. Anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend. Those who attend must adhere to social distancing rules. No friends can attend unless the deceased has no household members or family to attend. 

There is a small risk of transmission of COVID-19 from the body of a deceased person so mourners cannot take part in any rituals or practices that bring them into close contact with the body of a person who has died from, or with symptoms of, COVID-19. You must wear personal protective equipment if you wish to have personal contact with the deceased. 

Here at Barrett & Co we are always here to help. Sometimes help is needed urgently to facilitate a funeral. For example, an existing family burial plot must legally be in the name of a living person. We can help with such matters, if you find that a burial plot is registered to a deceased family member.

If you would like any legal advice in relation to the above or would like to create or update your Will, please call Vanessa Ruparel at Barrett & Co, who is a Wills Solicitor in Reading; or email [email protected]

Further Reading:

Jersey and Scotland authorise video link for witnessing Wills but England sticks to traditional method

Do you need to update your Will?

Coronavirus, your Will and the Drive Through

Get in Touch

Vanessa Ruparel offers a fixed fee initial meeting of one hour to discuss your personal circumstances, your options and your next steps, at a cost of £95 (inc VAT).

Vanessa will meet you in our Reading Berkshire office, alternatively meetings can occur by telephone. If you would like to meet with Vanessa please telephone the office so that an appointment can be arranged.

Vanessa is a Solicitor specialising in Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and the administration of estates.

"barrettandco" and "Barrett & Co" are trading names of Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP, a Limited Liability Partnership incorporated in England and Wales under registration number OC356263, with registered office at Salisbury House, 54 Queens Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4AZ. Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority www.sra.org.uk (SRA Number 549694).

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