Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
The estates of both my mother and brother have long been settled and I cannot comment on whether my uncle's estate went through probate...but the deed to the plot indicates that the owners are the heirs or the five grandchildren. Three sons from the uncle and two daughters from my mother. The cemetery claims that require unanimity to overcome the wishes of my uncle who wrote them a letter stating that he was not in agreement with adding another name to the headstone. He is deceased since 2003 and my mother is deceased since 1985. The cemetery indicated that if I am unable to obtain a signed agreement from the other four grandchildren that a court proceeding will be necessary. My uncle died in Florida, my mother died in NY.
Thanks for your information here.You would be looking at reopening probate and seekign a court order through probate ordering the cemetery to allow you to add to the marker.Since you are the legal heirs and if there is disagreement you would first reopen the probate cases with a motion and then once that has been done a second motion to the probate court to order the cemetery to honor the request.The problem here is that if there is disagreement it is likely to carry over to probate court and the judge would resolve this by ruling on your motion/request.Honestly this is not the kind of thing that has premade forms, you would either have to draft your own pro se or consider a local lawyer.I wish I could tell you that this was simpler or faster but if there is disagreement it can get complicated in that you would have to reopen the probate(s) and then seek a court order.
If you cannot reach agreement you may really have to think about this because there may be two different probates involved in two different states.It could get expensive and overall odds of success are mixed if some are in favor and some are not.I appreciate the chance to help you.I hope that you can resolve this short or returning to court.But if you cannot get the others to agree it may be tough to prevail and obtain such an order.It would be a tough decision for the judge thats for sure.
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I just realized that my mother was a Florida resident when she passed and so was my uncle. His probate would be out of Dade County and my mother's would have be out of Palm Beach County. Is there a way to combine the two into one probate case or would I have to open a probate case in both counties separately?
The cemetery told me that it would have to be done out of the county court in Hempstead NY which is within the jurisdiction of the cemetery's location on Long Island. If that is the case then it would not be a probate case....but what would it be? I have in my possession the deed to the plot so in effect it might be a case whereby there are now five owners to land in Long Island NY and that another type of motion might be able to be executed instead of opening probate....as neither my uncle nor my mother are considered current owners of the plot....just the heirs. Only living heirs have powers over the plot....which means the five grandchildren and no one else. So theoretically I could submit a motion to the court for the engraving....and notify the other four. They could show up in court at the hearing or hire their own attorneys to show cause for why they disagree.....but I doubt they would spend the time or money to fight me....I would just need to know that if I did submit a motion ...what it would be called?...and in what court it should be submitted?
Based on what you have given me here about the grave in NY then it may well a separate civil suit in this location since the probate court would not have had jurisdiction over out of state real estate.So here you are back to a civil suit in NY seeking a court order to allow engraving on the marker.I am sorry here for the confusion but it was not clear to me that the grave itself was outside of Florida.It makes a difference since this is real estate and the Florida courts would not have jurisdiction.
Lawyer referral for NY here since the cemetery plot is real estate and located there.Again I am sorry here for the confusion and thanks for letting me clarify.And here you would be looking at serving all the heirs involved and then presenting to the court your argument for a court ordered change in the marker.I hope that you will be able to resolve this matter without such a lawsuit.
Thanks again for your patience.