Chapter 20
Current law and issues

The wishes of the deceased

20.10When making the burial decision, the executor is under a duty to take into account any views expressed by the deceased as far as they are known. Under New Zealand law, it is not possible for the deceased’s burial directions to legally bind any surviving person, even if they have set their directions out in their will,410 but the executor may be expected to give significant weight to a deceased’s clearly expressed wishes.
410 This is because of the common law rule that there is no “property” in a dead body: see Law Commission, above n 8, at [14.72]–[14.74].