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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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In the case of a double suicide of man and wife. Who has the

Customer Question

In the case of a double suicide of man and wife. Who has the right to the body?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Who is arranging and paying for the funeral/cremation?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Funeral and arrangements have been already paid for. We understand that there is a letter stating their wishes to have a joint funeral.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Did the same person pay for both funerals?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
We are in dispute. My sister committed suicide with her husband leaving her wish to be cremated at the same time as her husband. Both sets of ashes were then to be scattered together in a place of their choice. I would like to know if there is any entitlement my family have, so that we can have the remains of my sister so that her daughters and mother can say their own farewell in their own way. Although these wishes were laid down in a letter to the executor, is this letter legally binding? My sister an husband planned and paid for the funerals in advance.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
When it comes to the wishes of how one’s remains are to be dealt with or disposed of after death, these are just personal wishes and have no legal binding. What it is in effect is someone saying “I would very much like for my remains to be dealt with like this”, but it does not mean that it will happen or that it has to happen. It is just a preference which is hoped will be honoured by those dealing with the funeral arrangements. Once a person dies no one has legal rights over the body or ashes and what happens is that these will usually be given to the person who paid for the funeral or cremation as they have paid for a service and one ready, the body/ashes will be the product of that service so they will just be passed on to them. They can then decide what to do with them and how to dispose of them. If the funeral was paid by the deceased then it would usually be for the executor of their estate to resolve this. Whilst morally they should follow their wishes, legally they do not have to and it is entirely up to them how to dispose of the remains. So there is nothing in law which you can use to ensure that the deceased’s wishes are honoured – this is a moral argument rather than a legal one and it will have to be negotiated with whoever has possession of the remains. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

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