Court: Son's Ashes Can't Be Divided

4-year legal battle may finally be over for feuding parents
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2014 9:44 AM CDT
John Goodman reacts as family members of Scott Wilson speak during the sentencing phase of his DUI manslaughter case in the Palm Beach County Courthouse in West Palm Beach, Fla., Friday, May 11, 2012.   (AP Photo/The Palm Beach Post, Lannis Waters, Pool)
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(Newser) – After a four-year legal battle, Lili and William Wilson will finally be able to lay their son to rest, though perhaps where only one of them wanted. Scott Wilson, 23, was killed in a car accident involving polo mogul John Goodman in 2010, but his divorced parents have been fighting over his final resting place. His mom wanted him to be buried in Palm Beach, Florida, while his dad wanted him laid to rest in a family plot in Georgia, and suggested dividing his ashes in order to do so—an idea Lili claimed was "disgusting" and violated her Catholic faith. The court, however, put the kibosh on that plan, citing a centuries-old law that Wilson's ashes are not property and thus can't be split, the Palm Beach Post reports.

So where will Wilson's ashes end up? A court-appointed curator will likely decide. Wilson's father's lawyer notes, "the final resting place for this young man may be left to the discretion of an administrator who never knew him," and since he left no will, "there may be an intrusive and possibly hurtful inquiry of his relatives and friends as to what he may have wanted." The Post reports, however, it's likely a curator would order his ashes buried in Palm Beach, where they are currently sitting on a funeral home shelf. As for Goodman, he was convicted of DUI manslaughter in the crash but jury misconduct caused his conviction and 16-year prison sentence to be overturned. He is currently awaiting a second trial.

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