What to do if my sister died about 2 1/2 years ago and her husband will not release her ashes to be buried?

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What to do if my sister died about 2 1/2 years ago and her husband will not release her ashes to be buried?

He had a girlfriend 5 weeks after her death; I’m pretty sure she was in the picture before and he is now remarried. He has never had a reading of her Will, so we don’t know what it says. I do know the things she told me haven’t been done.

Asked on October 2, 2012 under Estate Planning, Alabama

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.   When you say that she told you things that have not been done do you mean that she stated things in her WIll that she wished carried out after her death?  And is it that you wish to force the probate of her Will?  Generally the formality of a "reading of the Will" has been done away with and the Will is just offered for probate with the appropriate notice under the law. But understand that if all her assets were jointly held with her husband at the time of her death they pass to him automatically.  And I would think that he can do as he pleases with her ashes unless her wishes were otherwise.  You can challenge him to probate the Will and if that is what you wish then seek legal consultation.  It could get costly.  Is it possible to have a friend or family member speak with him instead?  Good luck.


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