Can I legally remove and replace a headstone my husband’s brothers put down for him before I had a chance to?

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Can I legally remove and replace a headstone my husband’s brothers put down for him before I had a chance to?

My brother-in-laws put a headstone down for my husband before I had a chance to put a marker with his ashes in it in the spot. The plot is family owned and my daughter wants this marker gone as it is garish and has an insulting remark on it about her dad. The cemetery says it’s not their business and the b-i-laws refuse to remove it. I live out of town but my daughter lives close to the cemetery and wants to visit where his ashes are. Right now they are still in a box.I don’t want to break the law. If I remove their marker and replace it can I get into trouble? What do I do with their marker?

Asked on March 22, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  The ownership of the plot belongs to whom: the in-laws?  Then you probably can not interfere with their property rights.  And although I understand that your husband's last wishes may have been to be buried in the family plot, you do indeed have an alternative plan available to you: buy a plot and bury him elsewhere with your own head stone. Since I can not read his Will to know if this would violate his wishes I do not know if this will cause a problem.  But if it does and the in laws start some trouble in court about it you can ask the Judge to have the head stone removed. Good luck.    


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