Funerals/disinternment

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Question
I live in NJ.  Our neighbor's 30-year old son committed suicide two years ago while living (married, no children) in PA.  Out of respect for his widow, our neighbors assisted with burying him in PA rather than suggesting it be done in NJ.  The widow is now engaged to be married within the next year.  Our neighbors would like to have their son reinterred in NJ so they might visit with him more often (it's a 3-hour ride each way that will become increasingly more difficult for them as they age.)  The widow is currently refusing.  Will our neighbors have more success after the widow remarries in moving their son back 'home'? Do you have any suggestions as to help these grieving parents? Thank you.

Answer
Any idea why the widow is refusing? Typically a spouse gets to call the shots, but once she remarries the parents could approach a Probate Court to see if they have any possibility. Sorry that isn't very helpful. Would cremation be an option and then divide the cremated remains?

If all else fails, the parents could purchase a plot and bury a picture or other memorabilia with a stone with their son's name on it.

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Lisa Carlson

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
Funeral Ethics Organization (www.funeralethics.org) Funeral Consumers Alliance (www.funerals.org)

Publications
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

Education/Credentials
Masters degree in Administration and Special Education

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

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