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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 41063
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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My sister has died and she was married to an abusive husband

Customer Question

My sister has died and she was married to an abusive husband but they had separated 27 years ago but never divorced. Upon making arrangements for her interment we were told that he is the next of kin and had to sign the cremation approval and the medical examiner form. At first he said he would sign and when asked to sign the paper he refused because he wanted her buried in a plot he had paid for in another cemetery rather than in our family plot. He claims that is what he and she had agreed on at the time and he had a Gravestone cut with everything but the dates on it. My question is if there is a statue of limitation when a couple has been separated that causes him to lose his "next of kin" status?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you tonight.

If your sister here had a will that set out her final wishes as far as burial it would control.Absent such a will then the husband here has a right to claim the body for burial as legal next of kin. There is no statute of limitation here since they were not legally divorce he is still the next of kin unless her will specifically states how she wants her body disposed of.

This is an unfortunate thing , thats why lawyers beg people to do wills and set out their last wishes not only for property but burial and cremation here.

I appreciate the chance to help you tonight.Please don't shoot the messenger.I know you want honest information here.Thanks again.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.


Massachusetts -- How too bad that Massachusetts citizens can only ensure their wishes are carried out by paying a funeral director before they've died or by valid will. Massachussetts regulation number CMR 239, 3:09 states that if a preneed (prepaid) contract is in force, then the funeral director shall obey it. Otherwise, the right to control the disposition of your body devolves along the usual next-of-kin line.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ray, I guess I'll have to live with this and I will be sure to get my wishes written up with an attorney like yourself. I appreciate your fast reply, now I can sleep knowing that I have had my answer. Good bye
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

You are so welcome.Thanks again happy Easter.

If you can positive rate it is always much appreciated.