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Generally, the ashes would belong to the person designated in the deceased's will; but if there is no will, the ashes would belong to the estate representative (as approved by the court --- if an estate or administration was opened); otherwise, the spouse would be entitled to the remains......if there is no spouse, the next of kin -- children would equally own the remains.
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The law is going to be predominately the same, but I'll look to see if there's a specific statute in NY. Give me a moment to do some searching.
The chain of ownership/custody is basically the same. Here's the statute: http://codes.findlaw.com/ny/public-health-law/pbh-sect-4201.html
Subsection 2 discusses the right to control/possess the remains.
No problem and good luck with this!