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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33802
Experience:  15 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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I have been married to my 90 year old wife years. She has

Customer Question

I have been married to my 90 year old wife for 18 years. She has had Alzheimers for 10 years. I continue to be the primary care giver for her in our home.
Her children are adamant that she be buried beside her 2nd husband because my wife 'vowed to him on his dying death bed' that she would be buried next to this husband.
She was married to him for only 8 years before he died. He has been dead 30 years (since 1985). S he has no memory of this dead husband or for the other 2 deceased husbands.
She has no memory of her 2 children. I am 4th husband, but she asks about me often when I am not in her presence, and she frequently tell me 'I want to be with you'.
I want to bury my wife at a site next to me. However I am open to providing for some memorial recognition for her 2nd husband.
The children, who are not providing the primary care for their mother, are apparently satisfied with the care I am giving, now and going forward.
What are my rights?
Submitted: 11 months ago via Cornell Legal Info Institute.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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What are my rights?

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In the absence of any written will or trust that states specifically what she wants her burial arrangements to be, you as the surviving spouse would have the top priority to determine her arrangements and where she is laid to rest.

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If she had a will or trust, that would control, but the children only get a say if she was divorced or if you predeceased her..

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So this is entirely your decision if she has no will or trust stating otherwise.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your response.She has a will, but can this provision in the will be contested? What are the outcomes/ precedents for situations that may be closely similar to mine? Does you firm have attorneys experience in court representation similar to my situation?
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

If she has a will, then if she states what she wants to happen with regard to her final arrangements, then the executor of the estate would have to follow those directives. The will trumps default state law.

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If she has nothing in her will stating what she wants to have happen, then the law states that you as her spouse have sole decision making powers as to her final arrangements. This is not something that can be contested as it is just a matter of law. Spouse is first to decide, then children, then parents, then out to siblings.

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So if this got before a judge and wife didn't have anything specific in her will, he would simply rule that as a matter of law, you decide what happens to her remains.

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And just to be clear, JustAnswer is not a law firm and the attorneys here on the site aren't employees. We are independent contractors who come and go on the site as we choose. We also can't represent customers from the website under our agreement with JustAnswer. So if you are looking for legal representation, you would need to talk to a local estate law attorney if it gets that far..

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If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me.

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thanks

Barrister