Bring Out Your Dead & Your Cheque Book

8 Jun

Proprium Corpus [Latin – Own the Body]

For legal purposes a dead body doesn’t belong to anyone & why should it. After all in life the right to self determination and autonomy are enshrined in multiple articles of international Human Rights Law and only under very rare circumstances can you be forced to do something against your will. So why does the ownership of a dead body matter? When your loved ones get the bill from the funeral directors & they want £5,000, (minus the headstone; another £1,000 at least) – that’s when……

So, why do we spend unbelievable amounts of money disposing of the dead? Tradition; predominantly as result of anachronous Christian doctrine, which the majority of intelligent people accept is nonsense but blindly follow anyway. A dead body is dead body; the transient shell of a conscious, thinking person. I’m not suggesting that the loss of a loved one should not be honoured & their life celebrated, but there is nothing to stop that happening without having to adhere to the usual inordinately expensive cost of a ‘traditional’ funeral. So, whose responsibility is it to pay the bill?

Usually, the family take care of the arrangements but they are under no obligation to do so. Lack of knowledge is what can make you unwittingly liable. Firstly, acting as the executor makes you automatically liable. Many people take on this role unknowingly. For example: your relative or friend dies. Liability is the last thing on your mind when you are in shock, devastated at your loss & in the surreal bubble that is the precursor to mourning. Even if there is a will naming you as the executor you are under no obligation to accept. But if you unwittingly handle any part of the process, such as registering the death, you become responsible. It is your right to simply say it has nothing to do with you and responsibility becomes a matter of public health. Responsibility becomes the duty of the state. They then make and pay for the arrangements; sometimes referred to as ‘a pauper’s funeral’. Although the term is an antiquated leftover from the 19th century, it does tend to put emotional pressure on people who are already in a delicate disposition……

Secondly, if you arrange the funeral you have entered into a legally binding contract with the funeral director, who can later sue for breach of contract if it turns out that the deceased assets do not cover the cost of the funeral. Not something that is made clear as you are whisked off into the room with the comfortable sofas and they begin the emotional manipulation by talking about your loved ones whilst writing down a long wish list, none of which is priced as you go. Only when you’ve made your choices does the calculator appear and, let’s face it, nobody’s going to start asking where they can skim off a few quid.

So, there you go. When I snuff it don’t have anything to do with me. Oh, and don’t do the sycophantic “What a fantastic bloke he was” bullshit. Tell it like it really was. In fact, don’t tell it at all……

Remember, just say NO…….


2 Responses to “Bring Out Your Dead & Your Cheque Book”

  1. Polly June 9, 2016 at 7:58 am #

    Excellent work …..

    • Steve Walker June 9, 2016 at 8:51 am #

      Thanks Polly, unfortunately, I’ve ended up in that situation twice & find it totally unreasonable to pay £5-7K for a funeral just because it’s what we do. £1500-2K, fair enough but I cannot see where the money goes, although I can’t say I’ve seen many funeral directors in administration…

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