THE IMPORTANCE OF A WILL – DO YOU WANT TO BE BURIED OR CREMATED?
By Ajay Singh – Principal Lawyer & Nationally Accredited Mediator. LL.M ( Applied Law)
This can be determined by a Will. But what if you do not have a Will? The usual order of precedence among relatives in relation to control of the disposal of a body is that the ranking of next of kin follows the order: spouse (including a de facto partner), child, parent and sibling.
A recent Supreme Court dealt with a similar case:
The deceased died intestate and the dispute has arisen, not over her assets, but over the right to control the form of disposal of her body. The contest was between burial or cremation. The issue was between the plaintiff, who was the father of a child of the deceased, and the deceased’s mother. This case came on urgently in the duty list and the hearing was conducted on limited evidence. Among some of the evidence that was put forward to the Court was that “the deceased’s Facebook profile recorded at the time of her death that her status was ‘single’. The Facebook friends whose names appear in the profile include the deceased’s mother but not the plaintiff”
The Court dismissed the application of the de-facto partner and gave the deceased’s mother to deal with the Final rituals.