Mother vs Enstranged wife. Can wife stop funeral once her responsibilitys abandoned?
Hi, this is a really sad case. My friends son committed suicide recently. He was 41 and had a wife who he didn't get on with, and two children. When it first happened his wife come and told his mother she won't be allowed to the funeral, which understandably, broke my friends heart. The next day, she came and posted a letter saying in very crude terms that she was not going to bury him, she hated him, and she had told the funeral directors that his mother will pay for it, as she wanted nothing to do with him alive, nor dead (she is not a very pleasant woman) so his mother made the arrangements, paid for him to be cremated and then for a grave (that she had bought for herself when she discovered she had cancer last year) to be dug up so he could be buried two days later. The cremation went ahead as planned, but then the day before his ashes were due to be buried, the undertaker comes and says the wife has been to court and is stopping the burial. She said she wants his ashes left in the crematorium for ten years then the kids (who are 4 and six) can decide what they want to do with them when they are older. Now obviously his children aren't going to have fond memories of their father as she won't paint him in a good light and when the time comes, the children won't want their fathers ashes. Before the funeral directors took all of the money for all of their services they visited the wife and she gave the go ahead and again said she wants nothing to do with it. I know that this is a most unusual case and I was wondering if anyone has any advice as to what my friend could do to bury her son. She doesn't have the time to wait ten years as it breaks my heart to say, I doubt she has that long left. If anybody has any information about what my friend can do I would appreciate it so much. As you can understand, she herself Is in no state to investigate her rights. This woman not only drove her son to suicide (something which can never be proved, but is obvious to all that knew him) but I fear if something doesn't go her way soon she may meet the same end. Does she have any legal grounds to fight on?
That's terrible. I hope your friend gets to bury her son.
Did the son have a will? If not then his wife would have automatically taken control of his estate including what to do with his body. But you friend could probably apply to be the administrator of his estate and that could give her control.
She'd need to speak to a solicitor and probably go through the courts to do this which she may not be prepared to do at this time. Alternatively she could try mediation.
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