Pardalis & Nohavicka Death Law Update: Funeral Home Defrauded By Mother Not Liable to Husband of Her Deceased Daughter
The Right of Sepulcher gives the next of kin an absolute right to immediate possession of a decedent's body for preservation and burial. A young woman passed away. Her mother filled out the Death Certificate indicating that her daughter was divorced and that she was the next. The mother then contacted Butler-Badman Funeral Home to handle the wake and burial. The deceased daughter’s husband appeared after and sued Butler-Badman because he was the next of kin and his Right of Sepulcher had been violated. Butler-Badman made a motion to dismiss.
Butler-Badman explained to the court that to verify that the mother was the next of kin they relied the funeral home release listing the mother as the true mother of girl; the funeral home release receipt listing the mother as the true mother of girl, and next of kin; and the girl’s Death Certificate which indicated that her marital status was “Divorced,” and that her mother was her surviving parent. In addition, Badman was informed by the mother that her daughter did not have a will at the time of her death.
The court ruled that it was clearly evident that Butler-Badman acted reasonably and in good faith and dismissed the case. The husband’s law suit will proceed only against the mother.