Lonnie Holloway of Saluda, South Carolina was recently buried sitting upright in the front seat of his 1973 Pontiac Catalina.

According to the New York Times report (there is a video link, too), the 90 year old, described by a cousin as a “stylin’ and profilin’” man, had always said that he had wanted to be buried that way. He was also buried with his gun collection. He had said that he didn’t want them falling into the wrong hands.

The expressed wishes of the deceased raise a number of interesting issues to consider. Some immediate include:

  • Whether the directive regarding the means of burial is binding on the Estate Trustee. The rule is that directions contained in a deceased’s will are not binding on an executor. Additionally, an estate trustee is only allowed to recover reasonable burial expenses from the estate, taking into account the deceased’s position in life.
  • In Canada, there are restrictions that would intervene with respect to the disposal of weapons.
  • Will a Will that calls for the destruction of property be enforceable? In Wishart Estate (1992), 46 E.T.R. 311, the deceased left a will that called for the shooting of his four horses. The court found that the direction was void as being against public policy. In that case, the court referred to a Missouri Court of Appeals decision where a term in a will calling for the demolition of the deceased’s house was, similarly, found to be void as being in violation of public policy.

Have a great weekend. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel.

Paul Trudelle

Paul Trudelle – Click here for more information on Paul Trudelle.