My brother (executor) shipped my mother's cremains very crudely following none of the US postal guidelines. The ashes are contained in ziploc bags, within another plastic bag, and all of this was simply put into a shipping envelope. No box or padding. Is there anything I can do about this? It's so upsetting and it was meant to upset me. The ashes didn't leak or anything, but it's so crude.
The US Postal site shares their guidelines, but they don't say what happens if they are not followed.
If there was no damage to the ashes, then there is no legal case. You cannot sue people for simply doing crude things unless their actions cause either property, physical, or monetary harm. You can only sue for emotional distress in extremely limited circumstances (which this would not qualify). Best thing here is simply to move on and be glad that your brother's actions didn't cause harm.
However, if this is a larger part of a pattern of mismanagement of the estate, you may be able to petition the court to remove your brother as executor. Since he mailed the ashes, I'm not sure if he's in MA or you are. If this estate is being handled in another state, contact a probate attorney there to see if he can be replaced, otherwise speak with a lawyer here.
I am a Massachusetts attorney and answer questions based on Massachusetts law. The above answer is for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney client relationship or constitute legal advice.
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