Pawtucket, RI asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts

Q: My mom passed away, and my cousin said she’d help by making a gofundme to help me pay for the expenses of her affairs...

She used mine and my mother's name multiple times and her image but then did NOT use me (her only child and legal heir) as the beneficiary. She used my aunt, who disagrees with me on what to do with my Mom’s remains. I signed a contract with the funeral home and they said that they would be giving me a check, for funds paid to them via the gofundme, for the cost of opening up the ground and burying her ashes, since that is NOT what my mother wanted and not what I intend to do. The people who contributed to the gofundme all thought that they were helping me, almost 70% of them are my close friends and/or coworkers and did it to see that my will, and that of my Mother, would be carried out.

Instead my aunt is holding those funds “hostage” and says that I “will never see a cent of it”. She wants to use it to bury my mother where she sees fit, and it should be my decision.

Can you help?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: Have you opened a Probate matter in Court to deal with these burial and other inheritance issues? See: It's a good idea to hire an attorney to navigate these issues along with any issues re: the validity of the charitable donations, the funeral home expenses, and the money held by your aunt re: the services. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, I practice law in California, New York, Massachusetts, Washington State, and the District of Columbia in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.

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