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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34589
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My mother used to live in England, left the country to live

Customer Question

My mother used to live in England, left the country to live in US. Divorced my father, then married a US citizen.
Mother dies and her husband doesn't notify the family directly. Found out by somebody else who sent Condolence message to family that my Mother had died 2 days before, as it was announced in church.
Held a Cremation 6 days after her passing, where my sister who also lives in US managed to attend and find there was no Eulogy, her date of birth was wrong on the service programme and couldn't explain why he didn't notify members of her family that she was ill or had passed away. Mom has a brother who lives on the same Island and he wasn't notified neither.
What can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first.

What is it that you wish to know?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I wanted to find out if he should have contacted his Siblings or her Children to notify them of her illness and subsequent passing on Saturday, 11 June 2016?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We found out about my mother's death on Monday, 13 June 2016, as a friend of my Aunt, who lives in Florida, emailed her sending her 'Condolences'. As my Aunt wasn't aware of this, she asked for more information and was told it was announced in Church on Sunday, 12 June 2016 that my mother (her sister) had died on Saturday, 11 June 2016.My Aunt notified my Sister, who lives in New York by calling her and she had not received any messages nor phone calls from my Mother's husband or his family neither.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When my sister in New York telephoned my Mother's Mother-in-law, she confirmed that my Mother had passed, but was extremely vague in her answers and my sister was constantly asking questions, e.g, was she ill, why didn't anyone notify any of our family out of respect.When my sister eventually spoke to my Mother's husband, he was also vague in his responses. My sister had to ask him when the funeral was and then he told her 'it's on Friday and it's not a funeral it's a cremation as it was her wishes...'. Therefore, it didn't give my brother and I enough time to go down for the cremation. The reasoning behind how she died is still unknown, as he wasn't forthcoming with the specific answers except for she was taking medication and wasn't eating. My sister asked him why didn't you call any of us at any point? He didn't respond directly. He just said she was pulling her tubes out and wouldn't eat any food. He didn't say when she was taken into hospital and only gave answers when asked specific questions and even then he would try his best to avoid answers.The undignified way my Mother has been treated and her direct family, brings suspicion and extreme distress and worry as to what actually happened to her. When my Mother's husband wanted support with looking after her in the past and wanted her to return back to England, St Kitts, Fort Lauderdale whilst he was away on business, however, when it was time for him to contact our family he didn't call or leave a message with any one of us.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

I am so sorry for your loss but sadly this man has not broken any laws in his callous failure to notify you of her passing.

I am sorry as whilst what he has done is not illegal it was callous in the extreme

Please ask if you need further details

Clare and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your efficient response.Could I ask if it is OK for him to move my Mother to live with his Mother for years, she look after her and also other members of the family in St Kitts and Fort Lauderdale, however, whilst his a known womaniser and living in my mother's house with another woman?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I get to find out if Mom had a Will at all?
Also, if she had a works' pension, how would I be able to cancel this on her behalf? Mom was working in this country for over 20 years prior to moving to St Croix, I believe she applied for a British Pension when she turned 60 years old.Would I be able to cancel on her behalf?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Sadly that was for your mother to decide.

I am afraid that it is for the man she was married to do deal with the financial issues arising from her death.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I ask for a Death Certificate to indicate how she died? This is so my family and I can actually establish reasons of death.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As my Mother had a history of Mental illness prior to her passing, therefore, any decision-making would have to go via her husband, could it be contested that he acted without due Care taking her illness into consideration. Basically, if she was mistreated or neglected by her husband prior to her passing, what could she do about it?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

You can certainly contact the Coroner in the area in which she died and ask for a copy of the Death Certificate - but I am afraid that there is no other action that you can take