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headstone law

my father died 30/5/08 the women who looked after him for the last 12 months of his life says she is executor she also claims to be his lover of 20 years yet she is not shown as living at the same address as my father ever in that time. l have seen no will no solicitor letter no bank paperwork only her word but now the headstone draft shows my fathers d.o.b and the date inwhich he died and l have said that this is not ok l want in loving memory of and son and daughter she will not alow this unless her name etc is entered and said she can go ahead as she has the right? also my fathers belonging photos etc are at her home and have not be mentioned other than the photos she said she is keeping can she do this
03:20 Sat 20th Feb 2010
 
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Buenchico
Best Answer
Here's the additional bit:

The fact that your father paid for the headstone rather complicates matters but, as I see it, the headstone (together with the right to define what goes on it) effectively forms part of his estate. If so, control over what goes onto the headstone passes, under your father's will, to whomever he left that part of his estate to. (If...
04:11 Sat 20th Feb 2010 Go To Best Answer

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Who has the death certificate? Where is the Will to prove she is executor. Tell the cemetary not to allow a headstone till you agree it. Tell the woman to give you your father's possessions or you will seek legal action; you can borrow the photos to make copies or pay her to do it - they may be sentimental to her.
can you please keep your Q to one thread as it will get confusing.

http://www.theanswerb...w/Question864513.html
If she wont show you proof of executorship, insist that the cemetary show you the proof before the stone is laid - the onus is then on the cemetary. You could get a copy from the cemetary at the same time.

Did she pay for the funeral & burial or had your father paid?
Question Author
my father has paid for and the headstone
I've just spotted that you added additional information (i.e. that your father paid for the headstone) while I've been typing. I'll post anyway (in 2 parts because of AB's limits) and then add a further bit at the end.


Let's start by assuming that:
(a) your father left a valid will ; and
(b) that his carer was named as executor in that will.
If so, the carer should have sought grant of probate. Once probate is granted any will becomes a public document. To obtain a copy of the grant (together with the will), see here:
http://www.hmcourts-s...e.gov.uk/cms/1226.htm
Your father's will defines how his executor must deal with his estate. If he left everything (or just his personal possessions) to her, she's perfectly entitled to retain things like photographs.

If your father died intestate (i.e. without a valid will) you need to apply for 'letters of administration' which will give you control over his estate, which you must distribute in accordance with the intestacy rules. (The Probate Registry can advise you). The carer will have no entitlement to hold or control any part of your father's estate (including things like photographs).

The only exception to what I've written above is that if your father's estate was valued at less than £5000 there is no need for anyone to apply for a grant of representation. You can distribute the estate (in accordance with the intestacy rules) without any formalities. (Again, the carer would have no right to any part of that estate).
However the contents of your father's will (if any) can have no bearing upon the matter of either burial or headstones. There is extremely little statute law relating to such matters. For example your father might have given instructions in his will relating to whether he wished to be interred or cremated. Such instructions have no legal significance whatsoever. Any person (even a total stranger) could have arranged for your father's funeral according to their own preferences, with total disregard to your father's wishes or those of his family.

Similarly, there's no statute law relating to headstones. Whoever pays for a headstone is entitled to have whatever they like put upon it, subject only to the regulations prescribed by whoever controls the cemetery. The church authorities (or the local council, etc, as appropriate) may have their own rules relating to who can erect headstones (or what can be put on them) but they have nothing to do with statute law.

Chris
Here's the additional bit:

The fact that your father paid for the headstone rather complicates matters but, as I see it, the headstone (together with the right to define what goes on it) effectively forms part of his estate. If so, control over what goes onto the headstone passes, under your father's will, to whomever he left that part of his estate to. (If he died intestate the headstone, and the right to define what goes onto it, will have passed to you and your siblings, if any)

Chris
Very thorough, thanx Chris.
Question Author
thank you for your answer Chris l appreciate the reply and has been a great help many thanks also many thanks to tamborine for your reply
OK - what if a member of the family, without any agreement form anyone, has purchased the burial plot and paid for the funeral? Presumably the cemetry will only allow the plot owner to erect the headstone? So in effect the owner of the plot has control?
The person who paid for the funeral and the plot will be the person who owns the right to put a headstone on it.

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