The widows and family members of WWII hero Paul Morigi are, themselves, at battle over where his body should be buried. His wife of 60 years, and the mother of his two children, wants him buried in a local cemetery in Connecticut. However, his first wife – who was also his last wife when he remarried her in 2011, wants Morigi buried near the couple’s home in East Sussex, Great Britain.
Morigi’s American family claims it was his wish and intention to be buried stateside, next to his son who preceded him in death. Numerous family members have testified to that fact, recounting conversations with Morigi in which he indicated his desire to be buried in the family plot he himself created in Connecticut. However, they have also acknowledged that those conversations occurred prior to Morigi moving back to Great Britain to remarry his first wife and that no burial conversations took place after he moved. For her part, his wife in Great Britain insists that he wanted to be buried near her.
Your estate planning documents can – and should – indicate and document your preference for what will happen to your body after you die. For example, if you feel strongly about having a traditional burial and being buried in a particular city, state or national cemetery, those wishes should be spelled out in writing in a legal document that meets the requirements of the state of California. Similarly, if you prefer to be cremated, your documents should note this, as well as including any wishes about what you want done with your cremated remains.
If you don’t feel strongly about what happens to your body after your death, it is still advised that you nominate someone and explicitly give them authority to make decisions for you. Had Mr. Morigi done so, his family could have avoided the emotional toll, legal expense and frustration that this battle over his remains has brought.
To learn more about documenting your wishes for disposition of your remains after death, contact us today. Our team of experts has the experience and ability to tailor a comprehensive estate plan for you. After a thorough review of your assets we will present you with various estate planning techniques that will suit your needs no matter what type of estate you have.