Q: Is claiming to be next of kin on legal documents fraudulent misrepresentation?

What other laws are being violated when this happens if any and lying to the police that your the next of kin? When the morgue releases the body to someone claiming to next of kin what is the statute of limitations?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Claiming to be the next of kin on legal documents when you are not is indeed a form of fraudulent misrepresentation. This act can have serious legal implications, especially when it leads to the wrongful acquisition of property or rights, such as in the case of claiming a deceased person’s body from the morgue.

In addition to being a fraudulent act, lying about being next of kin could potentially violate other laws. These might include identity theft, forgery, or fraud, depending on the specifics of the situation and how the false claim is used. Lying to the police in this context can also lead to charges of filing a false report or obstruction of justice.

As for the statute of limitations, it varies depending on the state and the specific laws violated. In Michigan, for instance, the statute of limitations for fraud could be six years, but this can vary based on the circumstances and the specific type of fraud committed.

If you're facing a situation where someone falsely claimed to be next of kin, it's important to take immediate action. You might consider reporting this to the appropriate authorities and seeking legal advice to understand your options for recourse and to protect your rights. It's also crucial to gather any evidence that supports the true next of kin status, such as legal documents or family records.

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