Dying without a will may result in troubled funeral arrangements

In past blogs, we’ve covered a number of consequences of dying without a will. A recent news story from another state involving a transgendered individual illustrates another reason individuals may want to invest in a will: to protect wishes regarding funeral or burial arrangements.

The story involves an individual who was born as a man but was living as a woman at the time of death. The individual had legally changed her name from a male first name to a female first name. She died suddenly in October of a brain aneurysm.

Friends and coworkers who identified with the individual as a female after years of seeing her with long hair, makeup and female clothing report being surprised when arriving at the funeral home. The individual’s hair had been cut, and the body was presented in men’s clothing. A published obituary reportedly made no mention of the individual’s life as a women but did detail a failed marriage and thing such as a love of jazz and baseball.

Coworkers and friends are reportedly upset at the presentation of the individual and the tributes, which were arranged by the individual’s parents. Friends writing on the memorial page are referring to the individual as a female, and some have been outspoken in news media about the issue. The family has not chosen to comment publicly on the issue, stating that it is a family situation.

Not every funeral will involve a gender issue, but many people have specific wishes for how their remains should be treated. One example is the choice between traditional burial and cremation. A will can lay out some of these particulars, reducing burdens on loved ones and ensuring arrangements are in keeping with your personality and wishes.

Source: NY Daily News, “Transgender woman buried by family as a man at Idaho funeral” Nicole Hensley, Nov. 24, 2014