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Disputes Over Possession of A Decedent’ Body at Death

By Brandan J. Pratt, Esq., CFP® and Jennifer L. Fox, Esq.

What happens to the remains of a loved one upon death is an extremely sensitive situation. Family members often have conflicting ideas and desires as to how the decedent’s funeral will take place. Such disputes involve the location of the funeral and whether the funeral will be a religious ceremony and if so, which religion. In addition, family members may disagree over whether the decedent will be cremated or buried. If the
decedent is cremated, family members may dispute over who should have possession of the cremains, or how the cremains will be buried or scattered. If the decedent is buried, loved ones may debate over where
the decedent should be buried. This article provides instruction regarding issues related to the disposition of a decedent’s remains.

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