We've had yet another death in our family; this time one of my husband's sisters. About four months ago she was diagnosed with extensive stage small-cell carcinoma. It started in her lungs and spread quickly throughout her body, including her brain.
About two months ago, while she was still completely lucid, she met with her son and two of her sisters to let them know exactly what she wanted to happen after she died. She later had a conference call with her third sister and my husband; everyone was on board with her wishes: a simple cremation, followed by a gathering at her house where everyone would play Scrabble (her favorite pastime), drink wine, and then take her ashes to the lake she loved.
She died peacefully at the house of one of the sisters. Then her son (who also is her executor) stepped in, and started to override nearly everything his mama had wanted.
She was still cremated, but that was followed by an elaborate service, and the remains were placed in a cemetery, not at her lake.
Now he wants us to pay the bill for all the above.
We are furious beyond my capacity to describe. If she had wanted this, we would have found a way to do it. But now?
I urge you to not only discuss your final wishes with your family, but to also PUT IT IN WRITING. Have it notarized. Do whatever you have to do so you and your loved ones don't get caught in a mess like ours.