Over half a century after his death, a court has ruled on where legendary Native American Jim Thorpe’s remains will stay. Although this case is unusual, families fighting over burial places is not.
In 1953 two small Pennsylvania towns decided to merge and name their new town “Jim Thorpe” in honor of the athlete. Even though it is unlikely Thorpe ever visited the area, the new town built a memorial to him and convinced his wife to have Thorpe’s remains interred there. Now as reported by the Wall Street Journal,in an article titled “Court: Remains of Jim Thorpe Can Remain in Jim Thorpe,” a court has decided that his remains should remain in that town.
This case was unusual.
Thorpe’s descendants were relying on a federal law that allows Native American tribes to reclaim artifacts from museums, including human remains. However, the case highlights that families do not always agree where a loved one’s remains should be buried. When that happens they often resort to the legal system to settle the dispute. Ultimately, it is a judge who then decides where someone should be buried.
There is a way to stop this from happening to you through an estate plan. You can make funeral plans a part of your overall estate plan and dictate how you would like your body to be treated after you pass away. It is a good idea to do so to prevent family fights.
Consult with an experienced elder care attorney regarding how to provide your instructions for burial (or cremations) and other details. Once you have reduced your instructions to writing, be sure to provide copies to your loved ones.
Reference: Wall Street Journal (October 23, 2014) “Court: Remains of Jim Thorpe Can Remain in Jim Thorpe“
I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.
The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!
Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.
Josh Nelson, and his staff, have been amazingly helpful to our family. The ins and outs of nursing homes, the rules and regulations that govern Medicare and Medicaid are daunting and the folks at Nelson Elder Care Law have been informative, responsive, and above all, empathetic. I cannot emphasize enough how their service has taken a weight off of our shoulders especially during a world pandemic that has targeted nursing homes across our country. I highly recommend retaining Josh and his firm!
I had a simple legal question to them that I needed answered and they very helpful in giving me the information I needed. I highly recommend them and will reach out to them if I need more advice or assistance. Thank you for taking your time to just answer a couple of questions I had!