How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask P. Simmons Your Own Question
P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34966
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
Type Your Military Law Question Here...
P. Simmons is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My son was killed in March 2013. I was named as the PADD.

This answer was rated:

My son was killed in March 2013. I was named as the PADD. I let my daughter-in-law take the cremains back to her base with her with the understanding he would be buried back here at his home of record. The cemetery plot is paid for. Now, her father (a retired E-9) is telling her she does not have to return our son to us. I beg to differ. What can I do?
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

I am very familiar with many acronyms (the military is full of em) not but not sure I know what PADD is...what is that acronym?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Decisions relating to funerals and burials are the responsibility of the Person Authorized to Direct
Disposition of Human Remains (PADD).

The PADD, who is designated by the service member, will determine where the burial will take place.


I got this from

A Survivor’s Guide to Benefits


I had 9 years in the Air Force myself.

Thank you

And can you tell me how you received this appointment? Was it in the will? Was it by some other instrument?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My son did it on page 2 of a form the Navy has.

All service members are required to name a PADD on
their Record of Emergency Data form. According to federal law, a PADD is the person identified
by the decedent on the record of emergency data, regardless of the relationship of the designee to
the decedent. Married service members are not required to name their
spouse as the PADD.

Thank you

I think it is important to understand that now that your son has passed, and is no longer in the military (his remains have been released) this is actually no longer a military law issue. At all. It is a state law issue.

That said, state law is on your side

You mention the Navy form. I am assuming you are referring to DD Form 93 (record of emergency data). This is the form the military uses to identify who will be responsible for the remains. They (the military) met their obligation when they transferred the remains to you. Now that the widow has taken the remains, this is a state law issue. That is, if she refuses to release them (as she promised to do) you can force this issue. Specifically, you can go to court and have the court order she release the remains to you.

But you would need to go to court in the state she is located in....that is the court with jurisdiction at this point

The fact you have DDForm 93, Record of Emergency Data showing his desire to have you dispose of the remains? That is all the court will need. Bring that to court, show the court, and ask them to order her to release the remains. They will. Her dad is wrong to advise her otherwise. This form shows his wishes..the court will honor them.

YOu will need to have an attorney in her county file this with the court (if she continues to refuse to release back to you).

Please let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank You. I need to write to an address given to me to get a copy of the DD Form 93. Local office would not give it to me. Then contact a good lawyer in Virginia Beach, VA. Preferably with military law experience.

Yes...but file the motion first, then make the request. The court will give you some leeway to get the paperwork (it may take a few weeks to get the hearing)

The court can engage right away and order she NOT dispose of the remains while this is progresing

I bet when she understands that she will have to pay a lawyer? I bet she just may return the remains with no more questions asked.

Please let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can, else please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work

P. Simmons and other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you