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UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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Hello, My daughter passed away recently and i am a divorced

Customer Question


My daughter passed away recently and i am a divorced father, the mother is claiming that she will keep my daughters ashes behind closed gates at her property where she lives with her Father, mother and brother. This would mean my family and me would not be able to visit her to mourn. Is there any way this can be changed so that we can agree to a mutual burial ground? I have tried to discuss this with the mother but have been hit with a negative response on both occasions, im really concerned because the funeral will be next friday 19th July.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  UKfamsol replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for your question - which is a very unusual one.

What I have been able to find out is that normally the person who takes charge of someone's remains is the person dealing with their estate - either named as their executor in their will or next of kin if no will. For a child that would be the parents.

I have found a very useful article which deals with this issue, which is here:-

The authors suggest that the solution is:

"to make an application for a grant of limited letters of administration of the child's estate specifically to allow the parent to take possession of the child's remains for the purpose of disposing of them. The court's inherent jurisdiction could be asserted as a basis for the court to decide the issue in the alternative."

This application to court "should be issued in the probate department of the Family Division of the High Court. Rule 27 of the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987 provides the procedure for a district judge or registrar of the Family Division to determine disputes between persons equally entitled to the grant of administration of an estate according to the order of priority on intestacy set out at r 22 of the Rules."

I would say that your starting point would be to contact your local county court - it may be if you are based in a city, the county court also acts as a high court for these types of difficult questions. If not, they will be able to direct you to the appropriate venue.

I have not been able to find out the court fee or court form that you should apply on. Given the short time involved, you will obviously want to make your application to court as an emergency - on the other hand, even if you are not able to get a court hearing and decision before 19th July, if your argument is about the final resting place rather than the funeral itself, could you consider agreeing to the body being released for the funeral and cremation, and then taking your court action after that?

Given that court cases are stressful, time-consuming and expensive, I wonder if mediation might be appropriate instead - even if it takes place after the funeral. You can self-refer, or a family solicitor can refer you. Here's where to find a local mediation service:-

Here's where to find a good specialist family lawyer:-

For help with your application to court, it may be either a family lawyer, or a probate lawyer that you need - actually on reflection, I think maybe a probate lawyer might be better. Here's where to find a good probate lawyer:-

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

I hate to specify - but please rate my answer ok, good or excellent - or I get nothing for my time!!! (so the website keeps all).)

Thanks and best wishes....

Expert:  UKfamsol replied 3 years ago.
Hello again.

I see that you looked at my answer yesterday - but you have not accepted it.

Is there anything you feel I did not cover in my answer?

Or is there anything you would like further clarification on?

Let me know! I'll do my best!

best wishes...

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