Can a body be disinterred & reinterred in a “family plot” ,owned by a non-relative of the deceased; a person who prohibits real family from the plot

Ex-wife got son to disinter his father who was buried 30+years ago to be re-interred in “family plot” that belongs to her. She has disowned some of her kids and now only those who she allows can be buried in “family plot”. A majority 5 of 8 offspring agreed to this since they are on good terms with her, but the remaining 3 have suddenly found themselves without a father to visit or be buried next to. The disinterred plot +3 more at old cemetery will be sold. I want to keep them but ex-wife is owner b/c she never deeded them back to deceased estate after it reimbursed her for the plots.

Asked on May 15, 2009 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

GW, Member, Michigan and Hawaii Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

While the ex-wife has little claim to choose the burial place or disinter her former spouse, his children do. The fact that a majority of the children agree with the decision makes it less likely a court would be willing to order the body moved, especially since courts are reluctant to move bodies in the first place.

If the ex-wife failed to deed the burial plots back to the estate despite receiving compensation for them, you should take that up with the personal representative of the estate or the attorney representing the estate.


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