Couples can be separated for quite a while and still remain legally wed. This can sometimes present legal challenges should either party pass away. Families may have very different ideas about how they wish to memorialize their loved ones and parents, siblings and other close relatives will not possess the legal upper-hand in these matters.
Fortunately, in many instances spouses are willing to allow family members to take part in the funeral planning process, so long as these individuals are willing to share the financial responsibilities. Thus, it may be best to establish you budget for these efforts and then approach the other party. There is usually greater willingness to cooperate with family wishes when there are financial difficulties on this end.
Determine what motivations your loved one's ex might have for preventing family involvement in these events. This individual is also likely to be dealing with grief of his or her own. Remember that both parties have an array of difficult emotions that they are experiencing. Attempt to make peace with past events, but above all, try to give this person space and time after you have expressed your desires. This will often allow people to rethink their past responses and to recognize any irrational behaviors or statements.
If your loved one has had a will established, his or her wishes must be adhered to according to this binding document. Thus trumps all legal claims that an ex has over how the funeral arrangements should be made. Sadly, this is not something that many people take the time to draft, especially if they feel that they do not have much value to leave behind.
When there is no legal will in place, both parties can try establishing a plan of compromise so that everyone is able to see the Deceased off in a manner that is considered acceptable. Honor the spouse's concerns and draft in a few ways that you would like to see the existing plans altered. Always be upfront about your willingness to assist with the related costs and any necessary labor.
Grave tombstones are not generally placed until the earth has settled for several months. This will usually take six months so that these heavy marks will not be sooner toaning, sinking or slipping. At this time, things may be more amicable between both parties and thus, family members can have more say in this final effort to memorialize the Deceased.