How do you choose spot of ash scattering when relatives to the deceased cannot agree?

2019-03-22 i FAMILJERÄTT
Hej, my Swedish husband passed away and he skall be cremenated by his wish. I would like to take his ash in urn to my country when i return but his family( senior sister o mor) like to scatter his ash in Sweden. He did not write any Will. Is there any Clause regarding a choice and possession of the ash of the deceased? Thank you for your advice.

Hey! Thank you for turning to Lawline with your question!

The applicable law in this case is the funeral act in Swedish called, Begravningslagen. According to chapter 5, paragraph 1 of the Funeral Act, when someone has died, his desire for cremation and the burial should be followed as far as possible by the person who, as a relative or close relative, or otherwise arranges the burial. In you case you say that your husband did not specify where he wanted to be buried, so it is harder to follow his will.

When you want to scatter someone's ashes you have to ask the County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen) for permission to do so. If a relative opposes on your suggestion of spot to scatter the ashes (as in this case), you have to solve this issue. According to chapter 5, paragraph 3 of the Funeral Act the principal of the funeral service at the place where the deceased was last registered at the request of the parties shall be mediated between the parties.

If the parties agree, the principal shall determine their agreement. If agreement cannot be reached, the principal shall instead, with his/her own opinion, refer the dispute to the County Administrative Board.

If you and your husbands' relatives agree on letting you scatter you husband's ashes abroad, it is possible under chapter 5, paragraph 14 of the Funeral Act. But if it is known to the principal of the funeral or the holder of the crematorium that holds the ash there is a dispute about the site of the burial, the ash must not be left out or otherwise removed until the dispute is finally resolved (chapter 5, paragraph 16).

Kind Regards,

Isabella Vasiliou
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