Our (me, my adult brother and adult sister) elderly bio-father passed away in April 2013. Our father had been remarried to another woman after our bio-mother died in 1974. Our father and step-mother both moved from Missouri to Arizona two years ago to be near me and my immediate family. When our father passed, our step-mother advised that our father had annotated his typewritten will and last testament with a pen amending that he wanted to be cremated instead of whole body burial; and the step-mother reported that she wanted our father buried at Jefferson Barracks National Memorial instead of being buried next to our bio-mother in the burial plot our bio-mother and father had arranged many years ago. My brother and sister and I resisted this since our father had told us verbally many times that he wanted to buried with our bio-mother (his name was even on the headstone next to our bio-mother's). So, the step-mother had our father cremated instead of whole body burial and gave us half of our father's cremated remains. The step-mother has decided to hold onto the other half and have our father sprinkled on the Pacific Ocean with the stepmother when she expires. My brother, and sister want his remains returned to us to buried in the family plot next to our mother, as was his instructions to us.
Although our father was a legal resident of Arizona, the stepmother contacted the lawyer in Missouri that had handled our father's legal matters for a number of years and had all estate
handled in Missouri. When we all gathered in Missouri for our father's funeral/memorial service the stepmother advised that there was estate funds left for my brother, sister and I; and that the stepmother had taken care of all the legal work and we didn't need to do anything. We asked for a copy of our father's will and last testament, and we compared it to the last will
and testament our father gave to our sister years ago. There were differences that concern my sister, brother and I. As one of the designated beneficiaries I sent a letter to the lawyer handing our father's estate and probate, and requested a copy of the inventory of our father's estate. In that letter I included a copy of the will and last testament, the death certificate, a copy of my birth certificate and a copy of my state ID from AZ. This was over a month ago and the lawyer has yet to respond to the certified letter I had sent, with his signature on the return receipt indicating he had rec'd the letter. I guess the question I have, is do we as our father's children and beneficiaries of his estate have the right to see the inventory of his estate? Do we have a right to know how and to whom his estate was dispersed? And do we now need a lawyer to cajole the estate lawyer in Missouri to respond to and grant the request to view the inventory and dispersement of our father's estate? Frankly we are of the opinion that the stepmother had our father cremated so she could save money; that she willfully tried to prevent our family from burying our father with our mother; and that our step mother went against the our father's last will and testament and had funds from his estate dispersed to our adult step-sister and adult step-brother because their bio-father did not leave any support for them or our step-mother when her first husband died. Our step-mother's flippant attitude about using our father's estate to now go to the casinos, has angered the entire family across several states. We want to know what the disposition of our father's estate was' was it handled the way he wished; and what can we do to get the remainder of his remains returned to us so we can bury all of our father with our mother. Suggestions are welcomes.