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Funerals/moving remains against kids wishes law


My grown grandchildren's father was cremated and buried in Kansas after being shot and killed by his new wife in Tennessee (not their mom). His sister in TN wants to move his remains from KS to TN against his children's and another sister's wishes. New wife was not charged with murder. Said she thought he was a burglar so she was not charged with anything. Do the kids have any rights to keep remains here with them? It's all they have left of him and don't want to lose that. The wife and the family do not get along, of course. But could they move him if they somehow got her to request it? As I understand, she would be first, the kids second.

You are right that the sister has no rights. Only the wife and then the kids. She would have to get a Probate Court order to change that, and most courts frown on moving once a person is buried. Also unlikely to go against the kids. Sister is full of hot air.


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Lisa Carlson


Funeral Law. Having written a 512-page book on funeral law for consumers with state-by-state information, I am very conversant with consumer rights in this regard: What are the laws on disposition of cremated remains? Is embalming required? Do I have to use a funeral home? Can I have a home wake? Is it a state law to buy a vault? I prepaid for a funeral but changed my mind. They won`t give me all my money back. What can I do? . . . If you have an immediate need for information because a death has just occurred or is about to occur, you may call me at 802-482-6021.


I have monitored the funeral industry on behalf of consumers for over 20 years. I have been a guest speaker to funeral trade organizations, consumer workshops, and social service professionals. I am regularly consulted by lawyers and legislators as well as journalists.

Funeral Ethics Organization ( Funeral Consumers Alliance (

Caring for Your Own Dead (1987) Caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love (1998) I Died Laughing: Funeral Education with a Light Touch (2001) Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death (2011) with co-author Joshua Slocum

Masters degree in Administration and Special Education

Past/Present Clients
Available as an expert witness for funeral-related court cases.

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