General Question

adambc's avatar

My Dad's will SPECIFICALLY states that his remains were to be buried, not cremated. However, my stepmother and the executor of estate agreed to cremate the remains. what can I do as my father's son and heir of the estate?

Asked by adambc (4points) March 5th, 2010

Since my Dad has been cremated and not buried which is what he wanted, I am asking if I can take legal action against the executor of the estate and my stepmother. My father’s side of the family was against this decision. Can I sue for damages?

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10 Answers

DrBill's avatar

Consult an attorney, one who specializes in wrongful death. (yes, it’s germane)

BoBo1946's avatar

Did he have a Will stating that?

jfos's avatar

Unfortunately, you can’t get your dad’s body back. It was not right for your father’s will to be disregarded in such a degrading manner, but I don’t think that suing for damages would solve the problem.

I would say to put yourself in your father’s position. If this happened to you, would you want your son to be worrying about it, or would you rather your son move on?

pearls's avatar

If the will he drew up specifically states he did not want to be cremated, I certainly wouldn’t sit back and do nothing. Sounds suspicious to me that they did not honor his wishes. Those are just my thoughts and they may be far fetched.

semblance's avatar

I am an attorney. Do not take this as creating an attorney-client relationship. You may, however, find it helpful.

It is impossible to answer your question with confidence because the answer would depend on state law and the law varies from state to state. I see two possible things you might do.

A possible legal claim you would have would be an action for outrageous conduct (sometimes called intentional infliction of emotional distress). You would need to consult an attorney in the state where your father’s estate is being administered to see if such a claim would likely be recognized in the courts there. I doubt that an action for damages would, however, really make you feel better in the long run.

Another possibillity would be to file a petition with the court to have the executor removed from his position and replaced with someone else, possibly you. The grounds for this would be that the executor has intentionally defied the wishes of your father as expressed in his Will.

Personally, of the two remedies the latter one, attempting to change the executor, makes the most sense to me.

njnyjobs's avatar

It’s done, there’s no going back… Does it bother you so much that he got cremated? Are you preprared to alienate your stepmom? @semblance provides a great response.

@DrBill wrongful death?... the Dad was dead already.

BoBo1946's avatar

Did you ask her why she had him cremated?

Again, did your father have a Will stating his wishes? Think this would be very important in answering your question.

pearls's avatar

@BoBo1946 Read the question and you will see in the first sentence the asker states his father’s will SPECIFICALLY….. Not being critical of you my friend.

BoBo1946's avatar

@pearls oh…got’cha! Did not see that part. Well, think he has a case. Not going to change things, but I’m like you, something wrong here.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I am going through somethng similar with my dad’s will.I think an attorney is your best bet.That,or let it go :( Good luck.

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