Chernobyl-Ukraine, what happened to the undertaker

What happens to the jewelry of the dead?

In a community of questions I read that a deceased is to be cremated and now the following has happened. Once the widow said that the man should keep his wedding ring on and now the other relatives are thinking about how they can get the ring. In the answers it is assumed that the undertaker withholds the ring or it is withheld in the crematorium and that an opduction is found to dig the grave to see whether a ring is in the grave or in the urn.
What happens to the jewelry?

Good undertakers keep records of all jewelry and belongings that a deceased carries with them. Often at the place of death, if a relative is present when they are picked up, it is clarified whether the objects should remain with the deceased; otherwise they will be removed on the spot and given to the relatives.

If there is no relative, the family will be asked as soon as possible how to proceed with the jewelry.
It is not uncommon for women to say that their husbands should keep the wedding ring on. One must consider that wedding rings that have been worn for many years often cannot be salvaged non-destructively.

If the deceased is to be cremated, an undertaker will be advised to ensure that the jewelry is removed and handed over anyway. Otherwise it ends up in the ashes with the other metallic parts (prostheses, nails, plates, etc.) and is sorted out and collected by the crematorium specialists.
The metals collected in this way are handed over to a refinery and the respective municipality transfers the resulting profit, depending on the city, either to the municipal budget or sometimes also for charitable purposes.

In such a case, if there are doubts on the part of the relatives, the grave will not be opened.
Incidentally, this is called exhumation and not autopsy.
In the case of a cremation, the urn would only contain the ashes and not the jewelry anyway.
It would hardly be really possible to determine if the ring would have disappeared where it "got lost".

As a rule, the undertaker clarifies with the relatives what to do with the jewelry and records this in his files or in the so-called jewelry book. No sensible person will ruin a business with which he could get rich for years by stealing gold worth perhaps 80-200 euros.

I always recommend removing the jewelry - with the exception of wedding rings at burials, if so desired - and handing it over to the family. Because as it is aptly said: "And do not lead me into temptation."

Another aspect of the question is as follows: As a wife, the widow is the primary heiress in particular of things such as the wedding ring (1) and can therefore dispose of the wedding ring, unless the deceased has otherwise in his will. So they can decide freely about the whereabouts of the ring and subordinate heirs or non-heirs have nothing to say, even if they are sorry for the abandoned property.

Another point of view: relatives often mention utopian values ​​of jewelry because they once paid these high sums at the jewelry store. Ultimately, however, especially after cremation, it is only about the pure melting value of the precious metal content. It can happen that a ring cost 1,000 euros, but only brings in 80 or 100 euros of pure precious metal, the rest was for the manual work of the goldsmith and the usual profit margins.

(1)
Note from a reader:
The wife is not the "first-rate" heir, as there is no such thing. The right of inheritance is only determined according to rank (or better parentele). However, if someone is an heir, they have equal rights with the wife. In this case, however, you are right to the extent that the woman has a right to the “advance” and thus the wedding ring and a few other things do not come into the inheritance. However, this has nothing to do with "first-rate" or the like

Published by Peter Wilhelm

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Peter Wilhelm 10. July 2012