The death of a loved one is an immensely difficult time. The grief can totally upend your life and make even the most mundane of daily activities incredibly difficult to complete. It’s no wonder, then, that planning a funeral must be as easy and straight forward as possible. What happens when there is a family dispute over a Will and the deceased’s funeral wishes?

We can help you know where you stand.

Danielle Blaylock, Will Dispute Solicitor, based at Jackson Lees’ Liverpool office explains where you stand when it comes to settling family disputes over funeral arrangements.

A body is not a property, and therefore it cannot be owned. It is common for a deceased loved one to include their wishes for their body in their Will, however, this is not binding. Ultimately, the decision of what happens to your body after you die falls on the executor of your Will, or, if you don’t leave a Will, the individual entitled to the letters of administration.

This still does not prevent disputes from happening however, and they may be more common than you think.

Many people don’t have the opportunity to make a Will before they pass, and in many cases a Will may not be up to date or may not include specific instructions for funeral arrangements. Where instructions are unclear or there are strong differences in opinion over what the deceased would have wanted, disputes can occur.

Having a Will with funeral arrangements and a responsible executor still does not guarantee that there won’t be a dispute. A loved one could provide clear details on the type of funeral they want but leave out details of where they wish to be buried. For example, if your loved one has spent their life in multiple countries the location of their burial can certainly be disputed. Alternatively, there may be a dispute between joint executors. In this instance, the court will step in and consider the deceased’s wishes, their connection to the area, the feelings of the grieving family and the need for a speedy burial.

Wirral Globe: Danielle Blaylock, Will Dispute Solicitor, based at Jackson Lees’ Liverpool officeDanielle Blaylock, Will Dispute Solicitor, based at Jackson Lees’ Liverpool office

There are many reasons a dispute may arise. It usually boils down to you either challenging or defending the Will’s validity. For example, a party could claim that your loved one wasn’t in the right mental state to write a Will, which will force you to defend its validity, and visa-versa. We have experience on both sides of these arguments and will be able to help you no matter which side you sit on.

What can you do if you’re in a dispute?

If your family is in dispute over your loved one’s funeral arrangements, we can help you. Disputes are not uncommon, and we have a long track record of successfully proving and disproving challenges to the validity of Wills.

Of course, it is advised to try and settle the dispute as early as possible with those you are disputing with, but this isn’t always possible. We understand how stressful this period must be for you and are here to help you resolve the dispute as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

Here at Jackson Lees, our team of experts in Will, trust & probate disputes are on hand to offer all the advice you need, whether you are bringing or defending a Will claim. If you need help settling a dispute over a loved one’s Will or any advice about where you stand, get in touch.

If you would like to talk to one of our empathetic specialist advisers, you can call us free on 0808 296 3258 (also free to call from mobiles) or email Alternatively, visit our website