It is a fact of life that death is inevitable so we might as well actively plan for it by writing a Will. You will have peace of mind knowing that upon your demise your loved ones will be provided for as you intended.

Apart from having a Will it is important to discuss your burial wishes with your loved ones. You may have indicated in your Will that you wish to be buried or cremated but this is not enough. You have to make your wishes known to your loved ones and close relatives. This is because your family may go ahead and make funeral arrangements prior to the reading of your Will. In addition, your choice of burial wishes may not sit well with your family members. For example, cremation is considered a taboo in the African culture, yet the truth of the matter is that more people are opting for cremation as a choice of interment.

In the High Court case of John Omondi Oleng and Charles Opondo Apuka v Svetlana Radol civil case No. 382 of 2012 relatives of the deceased moved to court immediately after the widow of the deceased placed an advertisement in the local dailies stating that the remains of the deceased would be cremated.

The relatives argued that cremation was against their custom. They also argued that their custom gave the clan more rights than the widow in deciding where the deceased would be buried.

On the other hand, the widow argued that on countless occasions the deceased had expressed the desire to be cremated. In his ruling, Justice Korir held that the widow was at liberty to follow the deceased's wishes. He stated that Article 44(3) of the Constitution provides that, "a person shall not compel another person to perform, observe or undergo any cultural practice or rite."

Therefore, as much as the deceased belonged to the relatives' community which practiced certain rites the spouse was at liberty to ignore those rites and honour his burial wishes. In the case in point, though the courts ruled in favour of the deceased's widow, it would be prudent that, after discussing your wishes, to write them down in a simple letter addressed to your loved ones as well as the executors of your estate. You should make the letter known and put it in a place where it will be accessible after your death. In this letter you may state where you would like to be buried or cremated, the location and type of ceremony.

For instance, the American actress Elizabeth Taylor was fashionably late for her burial - as this was her wish. You may not wish to ponder about your death but settle your affairs now and save your family from having to second guess your burial wishes. In addition, spare your family from having to battle each other in court at a time of loss.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.