Today I read an interesting post about the last paragraph of Charles Dickens' will. Apparently the famous author had no desire for an expensive or over the top funeral -- a simple, private, and discreet burial was desired.
Oh how times have changed. Today no lawyer would allow a client to write burial instructions into a will. Why? Wills are not instruments of speed, and once a final breath is exhaled, the modern day funeral process is speedy.
Here in Wisconsin, once a person has died, the power of attorney for health care ends. Last breath, no authority exists under the document. A will may appoint a Personal Representative, but that process can take several days if not weeks to complete. And in that interim a funeral and burial occur. My fix for clients is to give them Wisconsin's Authorization for Final Disposition form. Created by the Department of Health Services, it is a free form that allows someone to nominate a person to be in charge of funeral and or burial as well as two back-ups. In addition to naming names, directions can be given. Cremation, burial, religious, non-religious, which cemetery, etc.
Dickens' literary work is timeless, but his will is a relic of the past.