Forboro area MA Estate Planning Attorney-Disposition of Bodily Remains

Real Estate Attorney with an Expertise in Estate Planning and Elder Law

The author Brigitte von Weiss of VON WEISS LAW OFFICE is an Easton MA estate planning and elder law attorney. 


I am often asked "Should my Will state my wishes regarding my burial and funeral?"

The Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC) became effective as of March 31, 2012.

Before the MUPC, the executor had no authority as to the bodily remains of the decedent. 

Under § 3-701 of the MUPC, the named (named in the Will) personal representative has power to carry out the written instructions of the testator pertaining to the disposition of the bodily remains and other arrangements such as funeral and burial, even prior to his or her appointment.  

As a side note, "decedent" is the term referring to the person who died, "personal representative" is the MUPC word for executor and "testator" is the term referring to the person whose Will it is.


Should the Will contain those instructions?  


While it is permissible to state the written instructions directly in the Will, that is not what I recommend to my clients.  The reason is that if the client changes his mind, he or she will have to redo his or her Will.  I think it makes more sense for the client to write, sign and date a memorandum.  The client then should do two more things.  First, tell the named executor or personal representative about the written memorandum and where to find it.  Secondly, indicate in the Will that he or she is leaving a written memorandum stating his or her wishes regarding the disposition of bodily remains and funeral and burial arrangements.   


Besides the disposition of bodily remains and the funeral and burial arrangements, the written memorandum may also provide directions regarding organ donation, prearrangements with funeral home, cemetery and burial lot, casket, cremation and disposition of ashes, memorial service, notifications and obituary. 


Nothing in this blog should be considered legal advice as this is a complicated area of the law. 


The author Brigitte von Weiss of VON WEISS LAW OFFICE is an estate planning lawyer and elder law attorney serving clients in Easton, MA, as well as nearby towns and cities, including Abington, MA, Attleboro, MA, Avon, MA, Bridgewater, MA, Brockton, MA, Canton, MA, East Bridgewater, MA, Foxboro, MA, Mansfield, MA, North Attleboro, MA, Norwood, MA, Norton, MA, Plainville, MA, Randolph, MA, Raynham, MA, Rehoboth, MA, Rockland, MA, Sharon, MA, Stoughton, MA, Walpole, MA, West Bridgewater, MA, and Whitman, MA.   

Brigitte, a graduate of Boston College School of Nursing and an honors graduate of Loyola University of Chicago Law School, stands out from other elder law and estate planning attorneys in that she worked as a registered nurse for four years and earned a Master of Science in Taxation with high distinction from Bentley College.  This unique combination of legal, nursing and taxation backgrounds enables Brigitte to provide outstanding legal guidance to her clients in their time of need.  Call (508) 238-3005 for a free phone conversation with Brigitte to learn if she can help.  You also may reach her through her website at  


The Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC)   

Bristol County Family and Probate Court   

Plymouth County Family and Probate Court   

Norfolk County Family and Probate Court 

Alzheimer's Association

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

Massachusetts Chapter of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

Massachusetts Area Agency's on Aging (AAA's)
  and Aging Service Access Points (ASAP's)

MassHealth form

Bristol Elder Services

Old Colony Elder Services

Hessco Elder Services  

Foxboro MA

Foxboro MA Council on Aging

Foxboro MA website

Foxboro MA Reporter

Foxboro MA Patch

Foxboro MA Boyden Library

Foxboro MA Cable Access

Foxboro MA Historical Society and Foxboro MA Historical Commission

Foxboro MA Rotary Club


AARP estate planning article 

Forbes magazine estate planning article 

Kiplinger magazine estate planning article 

USA newspaper estate planning article  

American Bar Association's Estate Planning FAQ's 

New York Times article on estate planning 

US News article on estate planning 

Fox Business article on estate planning 

Los Angeles Times article on estate planning   


Abington MA Council on Aging 

Attleboro MA Council On Aging

Avon MA Council on Aging 

Bridgewater MA Office on Elder Affairs 

Brockton MA Council on Aging 

Canton MA Council on Aging 

East Bridgewater MA Council on Aging 

Easton MA Council on Aging 

Foxboro MA Council on Aging

Mansfield MA Council on Aging 

Norton MA Council on Aging 

North Attleboro MA Council On Aging

Norwood MA Senior Center

Plainville MA Council On Aging

Randolph MA Council on Aging 

Raynham MA Council on Aging 

Rehoboth MA Council on Aging 

Rockland MA Council on Aging 

Sharon MA Council on Aging 

Stoughton MA Council on Aging 

Walpole MA Council On Aging

West Bridgewater MA Council on Aging 

Whitman MA Council on Aging  


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