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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34309
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My father's wife (married for 5 years) is planning on

Customer Question

My father's wife (married for 5 years) is planning on burying my father's ashes and my sister's and I know that he wanted his ashes laid to rest in the family mausoleum. What can we do to claim his ashes?
JA: Estate laws vary by state. What state are you in?
Customer: My dad is in Illinois. I live in Indiana.
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: Nothing in writing but a card my dad gave me when my son passed away that mentions they would be together again there. My dad always told us what he wanted.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I think this would be it.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Did he leave a will stating how he wanted his remains disposed of?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
He had a will drawn up years ago but none of us were privy to where it was kept and we do not know how to find it.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The will would've been prior to his marriage to his current wife.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

Ok, I really hate to say it, but without anything formal and in writing from father, then the wife would have the highest priority to make the determination as to how to handle any final disposition of his remains.. It goes wife, children, then parents and then further out.

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So without specific instructions, the wife legally has the right to make that decision.

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your time. Could we have his ashes exhumed after she passes?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

You are very welcome. Happy to help any time, even if the news is kind of lousy..

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And yes, there is no reason you couldn't do so after she passes as you would then be the one with superior authority to make a determination as to his final resting place.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you! This news is much better. I didn't want to take him from her until she passed anyway.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Would this answer apply if he were buried with her? My sister just told me that she has 2 plots and a half. Her first husband is buried there. She wants to bury my dad there and then she will be buried there.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

Would this answer apply if he were buried with her?

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Yes, it doesn't matter, but in either situation, you would have to get an order signed by a judge to disinter father's remains as the cemetery won't just go remove remains because family wants it.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you!
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

You are very welcome.. Glad to help any time..

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Have a great afternoon!

Barrister

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