Who is entitled to the deceased’s ashes?

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Who is entitled to the deceased’s ashes?

My mom died without a Will and was cremated. My dad died 4 months later and his Will says he wants mom buried with him. I do not want this to happen. Am I entitled to any of her remains? There are 2 children, myself and a sister.

Asked on September 15, 2010 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Off the top of my head I would say that the next of kin - and that is determined by the law in your state - is entitled to the ashes of the decedents.  Now, who is the executor of the Will?  The executor - or personal representative - is obligated to fulfill the last wishes of the testator.  But here you are in a tough place because your Mom died "intestate" or without a Will and directions that wer written down.  If, however, you Mother had given direction to someone - such as another siblig - that sibling could bring a proceeding to bury her with your Father as per her wishes.  Maybe you should all sit down to decide what is best for everyone involved.  Good luck.


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