Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

À which belong to the ashes of a father? The Court will decide

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The ashes of a father who died without leaving a will divide his loved ones. (Archive photo)

  • Yannick Bergeron (View profile)Yannick Bergeron

A family is torn apart by legal proceedings over the disposal of the ashes of a man who died in tragic circumstances.

Who should his ashes go to? To his ex-spouse who is the mother of his children or to the mother of the deceased?

The dispute ends up before the Superior Court, in Quebec, after the filing of a request for an injunction from the ex-spouse last summer. She asks the Court to order her ex-sister-in-law to give her the ashes so that she can keep custody of them for her children.

The request instituting proceedings also involves the mother of the deceased who would now be in possession of her son's ashes.

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In addition, the ex-spouse is demanding $5,000 from each of the two women as damages for troubles, annoyances and inconveniences.

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The case ended up before the Superior Court in Quebec. (File photo)

The deceased's sister and mother refute the woman's allegations. They responded with a lawsuit totaling $10,000 against the ex-spouse.

In the spring of 2023, the father took his own life, shortly after the breakup, which led to significant conflicts between the three women.

The circumstances of the fateful day are mentioned in the court document.

The desperate man was in the residence he still occupied with his ex-partner despite their separation, when he committed the irreparable.

A few moments earlier, he telephoned his ex-partner to announce his intention to end his life. After the call, the woman contacted emergency services, but their intervention did not save the young father.

Since the death, the ex-spouse indicates that she has found herself in the bad graces of the family of her former life partner, due to the breakup.

She claims to be harassed by the deceased's sister, since she blames her for her brother's death and makes extremely derogatory comments.

According to the court document, the sister threatened to file a complaint against the ex-spouse to take away custody of her children and take control of the house where the couple lived.

She also alleges that the sister is damaging her reputation by spreading information that she did not provide assistance to her ex-spouse in distress , and thus, she would be the cause of his death.

The fear of losing her children and her home creates a deep feeling of anguish and intimidation in her, we can read in the application initiating proceedings, signed by her lawyer Me Sarah Burke. /p>

After the death, the ex-spouse was quickly excluded from decisions regarding the funeral arrangements, by her ex-sister-in-law and her ex -mother-in-law.

The sister plans a cremation at the La Seigneurie Funeral Cooperative, which will subsequently give her the ashes.

According to court documents, the sister of the deceased and her mother wants her to keep the ashes. So, when she herself dies, she can be buried with her son in a family plot.

The cemetery where this lot is located is nearly an hour's drive from the residence of the ex-spouse who still has custody of her young children.

According to their mother, the deceased's children constantly ask her why they don't have an urn for their father and can't go visit him at the cemetery.

Considering the above, the Applicant requests that the ashes of Mr. be given to his children.< /p>A quote from Extract from the application initiating proceedings from the deceased's ex-spouse

In the absence of a will , the ex-spouse's request argues that the mode of disposal of her body falls to her heirs, that is to say her children.

The ex-spouse believes that as legal guardian, the method of disposing of the ashes is therefore up to her.

The sister of the deceased and his mother have delegated a lawyer to defend them, maintaining that they also have a say in the disposition of the ashes. Me Dominique Bertrand, who represents them, also responds to the allegations of moral damage, indicating that if there is damage, nothing was done intentionally.

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Me Dominique Bertrand (archive photo)

In a summary defense statement, prepared by Me Bertrand, his clients agree that there were intense discussions on both sides, in the tragic context of the case.

They reply that the ex-spouse would be responsible because of her comments and her attitude, in particular her attempts to control the funeral and quickly put control of the assets of the deceased.

The two women, terribly shaken and traumatized by the death, also accuse the ex-spouse of having filed an abusive and vengeful appeal with the aim of making them suffer further.

They are therefore each claiming $5,000 from the ex-spouse for additional suffering and pain in addition to the stress resulting from the legal action taken by the mother of the children.

The hearing date for the case has not yet been set by the Superior Court.

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