Dad lived & was separated in AZ died in CA on vacation. CA funeral home insisted on separated spouse approving cremation paid for by daughter. Now separated spouse wants remains. The separation awarded property and financials to each party and they no longer lived together.
First, if hyour father died with a Will, then his wishes may be contained somewhere in that document
Second. the ex wife has ZERO rights to the remains. If she wants them, then the only means is your good grace. Once a spouse is separated, even if not divorced, that spouse is treated as having died before the decedent. How the property was distributed upon separation has no bearing whatsoever.
Lastly, you and the remainder of your father's immediate family have the rights to settle the remains.
Matthew Johnson phone# 206.747.0313 is licensed in the State of Washington and performs bankruptcy, short sale negotiations, and estate planning in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. The response does not constitute specific legal advice, which would require a full inquiry by the attorney into the complete background of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter; rather, it is intended to be general legal information based on the limited information provided by the inquirer; it This response also does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established after a conflict of interest evaluation is completed, your case is accepted, and a fee agreement is signed. Johnson Legal Group, PLLC
Given the fact that you are having issues already, I think it would be prudent for you to consult with an Arizona probate attorney as soon as possible. You need to know where you stand so you can firmly deal with your father's ex. I am hoping that you do not have continued legal clashes with her. But it certainly looks like she is determined to make things miserable for you. I would have a lawyer deal with her and stay out of the fray.
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If your father was legally separated when he died, then the ex has no right to claim anything of his except maybe his last name. If you show the funeral home the separation decree that indicates that they are legally separated, then they should release the remains to you. Contact a probate attorney in AZ if you continue to have issues with the ex. I'm sorry that you have to go through this at a time of grief.
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