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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Ex husband took cremains of son who took his own life. Since

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Ex husband took cremains of son who took his own life. Since 2.6.2012. Has in his possession. I am mother who gave birth to son. Every time I called for 2 years to see his ashes and cry for him, I have been denied by ex and my other son. I am in depression and am terribly heartbroken. I have no means of income except SS and care full time for mother who had massive stroke. I pray they will return ashes to me. They have denied me MY MOTHER'S RIGHTS! What right does the father have to withhold from me the ashes for burial? That's all I want to do is bury my son, so God can look over him and I have a place to go visit him and pray for him.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

I am genuinely sorry that you are in this situation, I truly am. I am assuming that your son died without a will, and dispossession of remains was not defined anywhere, correct?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes that is correct. He left s-note saying he wanted to be returned to the Earth. Ex and other son assumed cremation. I couldn't fight them, so I gave in. Yes he had no estate, was single, and no children.


That is quite terrible. I must ask this, and forgive me if it is most indelicate. Have you asked them to possibly split the ashes, so you could have some and they have the rest?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Adament about anything I say or ask. Will not split ashes. I am depressed on edge. I have been waiting so long to put in to rest. 2012 every day for a week. No call back. First younger son was involved. He was supposed to receive ashes by my faxed letter stating so, instead father signed for them. Was threatened if I came near his home. Will not accept phone calls. It's total silence. Can you understand how terrible pain I am in? My own son's ashes and I can't bury them? Can I have husband and son arrested?


I can understand your pain and I am trying to help you. Please understand that I am only working with the information you provided and the law in place. Do you mean to say that you have called him every day and he is not picking up the phone? Is there a court order out against you, such as a restraining order that he put in place?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No as far as I know there is no restraining order and if there was I wouldn't be told about it, until the next time I try to see ashes. Ex husband is very spiteful and hateful. He lost relationship with my deceased son in 2006. They were apart. If he's feeling guilty and keeping son because of guilt, I truly don't care. He doesn't own Mike nor do I, but for family sake, for all concerned, Mike should be buried.

Thank you for your follow-up.

This is a tough situation all around. In cases where a descendant (or parent) dies without a will or any express final instructions, the remaining beneficiaries all have an equal right to the remains. SInce the rights are equal, neither can force the other to do as they see fit because nobody's right or claim is stronger than the rest. It is a situation where the first one to obtain possession tends to place himself in a stronger position over all the other parties with a claim.

What you can do is potentially go to court and ask the courts to evaluate who has a stronger claim or to create some sort of a decision that can work for both parties. In a case where ashes are involved, the courts tend to seek a compromise solution and potentially split the ashes between all of the beneficiaries so all parties have a portion of the remains. It is highly unlikely a judge would simply order the ashes to be given to you unless there is some sort of evidence found, such as emails or notes, where it can be shown that the deceased preferred you to keep the remains under these circumstances. However it is your best option since a judge, via court order, can demand that the ashes be shown or shared between you, and failure to comply would be considered contempt of court order against the non-complying party.

I hope that you can find peace and consider this as an option. Please let me know if I can assist you further in any other way.

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