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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32434
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 29 years in Estate law
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Another case: My family has a plot at a local cemetery here

Resolved Question:

Another case:

My family has a plot at a local cemetery here in NY. It was owned by my grandfather and according to the cemetery the current owners and heirs are the five grandchildren as my mother and her brother are deceased. I would like to engrave the headstone with the last name of my parents as it now has only the last name of my grandfather. There is room for the last name of my parents under my grandfather's name on the headstone. Unfortunately my mother's brother wrote a letter to the cemetery before he passed away stating that he forbids the engraving of the second last name. The cemetery informed me that the current heirs are the five grandchildren and that we all must agree before this can be approved. If any one of the five disagree I will have to go to court. Can you apprise me of what proceeding I would have to engage in and whether or not I can do this pro se? I would have to alert the other four grandchildren to the court proceeding, I assume, so that they could provide opposing counsel if they so chose. I doubt they would. In any case I would like to add to the letter asking for their signature a clause that would alert them to the legal proceedings that will follow in case they do not a means to inspire them to I would like to know what this would be called and how to describe it as well as initiate it pro se if necessary. Thanks for a reply.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your question and good evening.Can you tell me if there has been probate here of the mother/brother?Are the five of you heirs under a will here or by deed from the probate case.Some more information here so I may assist, and can you tell me are the five of you heirs from the mother/brother separately--in other words each of them had some children??Thanks..
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

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.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 2 years ago.

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.

I hope that you will be so kind as to leave a positive rating. If you do have any additional questions about my answer please click the "Continue Conversation Link" so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. Please be aware that any rating of 1 or 2 is reflected as a negative rating and I receive no credit for my answers.

This communication does not establish an attorney client relationship here.Information providedis not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

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 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?

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 2 years ago.

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.

RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32434
Experience: Texas lawyer for 29 years in Estate law
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