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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My fiancé's brother passed away on 14th July and none of his

Resolved Question:

My fiancé's brother passed away on 14th July and none of his family (brother, Mother, Stepfather) were told when the funeral was to be held (which was 1st August, discovered by the posting of photographs of the funeral on Facebook). We are aware that these blocks to his blood family were imposed by his Wife and her family, but is there any form of legal action we can take to find out what is being done with his ashes? Apparently, he was writing a letter to his Mother (who is now in hospital following all this trauma and upset - largely due to not being able to bid farewell to her son and begin the grieving process) - is there any legal process we can take to get this letter?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months 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

Is it likely that he left a Will

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hello Clare
I would imagine so, as he was married with two young children.
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.

I am afraid that unless he made a Will appointing someone else as Executor then sadly his Wife has full control over not only the funeral but also the disposal of the ashes.

This gives her the legal right to be as vindictive as she choses (nothing could give her the moral right to do what she has done)

Additionally it means it is up to her whether or not any letter he might have written is actually posted.

I am so very sorry about this.

The only slim chance you have is that if there was a Will it will have to go to Probate when it will become a public document and there may be information in it about his funeral wishes

I am so very very sorry to give bad news

Please ask if you need anything further

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hello Clare
Many thanks for your response. I had feared this may be the case. How long could it be before Probate is obtained - or, once again, is this down to the Wife (as to when she applies)?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Also, do we have any recourse to the Funeral Directors and Crematorium who refused to give us any information as to when the funeral was being held?
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.

I am afraid that here is no set time line - and in fact if all the assets were held in joint names it will not be necessary to obtain Probate at all.

I am afraid that in fact the Funeral Directors and the Crematorium were correct to withhold the details since they had clearly been told to do so

Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
OK - many thanks for your help. I suppose all we can do now is hope that morality prevails and that his Mother at least is made aware of his final resting place.Once again, many thanks Clare.Kindest regardsJune
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.

You are welcome - although it hurts to have to tell you the facts