my husband's late wife's grave...next of kin rights
reside in Ca. My husband's first wife passed away 13 months ago. (We were married after her death so he would have next of kin rights to her remains) My husband had not placed a headstone on her grave due to financial difficulty as well as issues with his children. He had decided to wait. 3 of his adult children have given him a terrible time in genreal since their mother's death. It has been a nightmare. These children came and asked him if they could put a headstone on the grave, and he told them no. Other than asking about this headstone, the adult children have been estranged since their mother passed away. Not only that, they have gone out of their way to make my husband absolutely as miserable as they possibly can.
It turns out that the kids went ahead and ordered a headstone and had it placed on the wife's grave. The actual grave was donated to a church who then donated the grave to my husband. The original donor signed giving the cemetary permission to set the stone. I would think that if she donated the grave to the church and the grave was donated to my husband then the donor wouldn't have a say as to what goes on. the cemetary claims that the deed to the grave was never actually turned over to my husband thereby leaving the rights to the grave with the donor. However, my husband's late wife's remains are in that grave, and he has next of kin rights. Additionally, he signed all the paperwork when his wife was laid to rest. We didn't even know who donated the grave until last month when the cemetary told us the donor's name.
The cemetary says that we can't have the stone removed. They say that the donor was within her rights because the deed to the grave was never actually signed over to my husband even after his late remains were put to rest in the grave. They will not produce a copy of this deed for us.
Bottom line is that my husband is deeply disturbed over this whole situation. For the past month, he can barely sleep because it is on his mind. He is beside himself that the children did this behind his back (oh it was a surprise), and he is equally disturbed that this donor gave permission to his children to do this when she doesn't know the whole story.
My question is can we have the gravestone removed? Does this donor really have any say in what happens at that grave? Was she within her legal rights to sign a paper giving the cemetary permission to place the headstone?
It is a terribly long story, but suffice to say that these children have caused my husband the most horrible undue hardship, pain and suffering since his first wife's passing. This headstone issue is just the tiip of the iceberg. If there is a way to legally have that hedstone removed, we would like to do that. I personally believe that nobody should be putting a headstone on someone else's spouses grave especially if they are the children of the deceased and the living former spouse has requested them to wait. Do we have any legal ground to stand on? I am at my whits end and need peace...and so does my poor husband. Thank you!
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