Imy ex-husband died who has the legal rights to his ashes – his father or our son?

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Imy ex-husband died who has the legal rights to his ashes – his father or our son?

He died on the job last month. We have a 14 year old son, 9 year old son year and 8 year old daughter. His father has his ashes and my oldest son wants them. Who has the legal right?

Asked on November 14, 2011 under Estate Planning, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for the loss of your ex husband and the Father to your children.  This must be such a difficult time for you all and to compound it all with an argument over his remains, well, it just makes things even more difficult.  Your children are the legal "next of kin" of your ex husband when it comes to his estate.  So they will inherit under the intestacy statutes if he died with out a Will.   But may I ask: who paid for the funeral and for the cremation of your ex husband?  The estate is responsible for the funeral costs but someone usually signs as guarantor or pays for the bill.  Generally speaking the creamatory or funeral director will give the ashes to that person. You may want to start as estate proceeding on behalf of the kids and ask for the ashes as part of his estate.  Good luck.


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