Can I sue my mother and sister-in-law for burial expenses since my husband wanted to donate his body?

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Can I sue my mother and sister-in-law for burial expenses since my husband wanted to donate his body?

My husband’s living Will stated he wanted his body donated for study due to the nature of his illness and any remains cremated. My mother and sister-in-law insisted on the day of his death that arrangements had to be made right then. His mother as a florist has experience in this and I have none. Not to mention I was by no means mentally capable of making any kind of decisions except that I knew his wishes and wanted to locate his Will. He had no burial insurance. I don’t think it’s right that the expense come out of the estate since it went completely against his wishes and stick me with the bill.

Asked on June 2, 2012 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If he was buried pursuant to your mother in law's actions instead of his body donated, then I would agree in making her pay for the burial, and whether his body could be exhumed and donated. You need to speak with an estates attorney about the likelihood of your success on the merits and whether an agreement could be reached outside of court for reimbursement.


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