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Digest of the Week | Applicant Sought Sole Custody of Remains

Digest of the Week | Applicant Sought Sole Custody of Remains

Court considers property rights in remains

Mason v. Mason | 2017 CarswellNB 350 | New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench

Estates -- Powers and duties of personal representatives -- Remains of deceased -- Ownership of remains

Deceased died in Florida and was cremated and interred in Canada, according to family’s wishes -- Applicant widow was unsatisfied with how deceased had been laid to rest, after she returned home to Florida -- Widow purchased grave plot and asked funeral home to relocate deceased’s remains -- Widow later obtained letters of administration for deceased’s estate -- Respondent mother of deceased did not oppose this application -- Widow sought order that she be granted sole custody of deceased’s remains -- Mother opposed application -- Respondent owner of cemetery took no position, except for condition that disinterment take place under proper supervision -- Widow applied for order -- Application dismissed -- There was no property in deceased’s remains -- Family of deceased had properly fulfilled duty in properly disposing of remains -- Court did have power to order disinterment, but such power was to be used sparingly -- Widow was only married to deceased for just over one year -- Widow’s wishes did not supersede proper funeral and interment given to him by family.
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