When a person dies but is at the center of an investigation, that person's body is generally kept whole for the purpose of an autopsy. In this case, a judge has issued an order for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' owner's wife's body to be cremated without an autopsy, but the judge has allowed the woman's children to file an appeal.
The woman passed away in April at 96 years old. The judge initially gave an order to have the woman's body cremated instead of allowing an autopsy to look at her brain. Immediately after issuing that ruling, he reversed it, stating that he would give the woman's estranged children time to appeal his ruling if they wished.
The woman left a multi-million dollar estate to a trust, a move that the children disagreed with. They want to seek an autopsy to show if the woman had Alzheimer's disease or another condition that could have affected her judgment. They claim that her grandson, attorney and accountant took advantage of her as well.
The children, disinherited by their mother, were told they may not have a right to seek the autopsy, but throughout the years, there had been issues that drew concerns about the woman's mental state and the designations found in the final will. She had previously been found unduly influenced by her second husband, which could be a sign that she was again influenced improperly. Interestingly, the woman had previously stated that she did not want her two estranged children anywhere near her estate; she had nicknamed them the greedy twosome and took them out of her will over a decade earlier.
In a heated situation like this, determining the truth behind a person's will is necessary. If you feel a loved one was influenced by someone or changed a will under duress, you have the right to request help from the court.
Source: Tampa Bay Tribune, "Judge orders Joy Culverhouse's body cremated without an autopsy, but allows her children to appeal," Susan Taylor Martin, Dec. 14, 2016