Areas of Law / Wills and Probate

My son died a year ago. He’’d been living with a girlfriend and had three children, one of whom is 19 now, but didn’’t keep in touch with them. I asked the girlfriend if we could bury the ashes, which are still at the undertakers, but she won’’t talk to us, and the undertakers won’’t release them to us. What’’s the legal position?

Your son’s children are his next of kin, so (if there’’s no will) the one aged over 18 should deal with such matters, however it sounds as though this is unlikely to happen. If the girlfriend organised the funeral the undertakers probably have a contractual relationship with her, so will only release the ashes on her instruction. You may have to ask the 19-year-old to sign over responsibility for his father’s affairs to you to make any headway with this.

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