Statutory Declaration by Tina Hutchence
(15th June 2005)
|This document raises many questions. By completing this Statutory Declaration, Colin Diamond ('Michael's financial advisor and executor of the estate
) alone made the decision to cremate Michael. We, the family, had not even thought of cremation as it is not general in our family to do so and Michael had never spoken of cremation to any of us.
Colin Diamond answered the questions (it is his handwriting) and his brother Stephen signed as a Justice of the Peace and swore to the funeral director that Michael had requested cremation in his last Will and testament. There was no such directive in his Will, but the funeral director only needed a document with 2 attorneys' signatures. We the family did not know that this ‘Stat-Dec' existed until after Michael's funeral when it was too late.
A Statutory Declaration is usually filled out by the next of kin, but most people don't even know about it until someone close to them dies and the funeral parlor asks for a directive. As attorneys the Diamonds knew what had to be done to have a person cremated. They could not present the Will to prove that Michael had requested cremation because it was not in the Will and to this day even when threatened with court action they have never been able to present such a piece of paper.
click to enlarge
It was heartbreaking for us to find out that 2 days after Michael died, Colin had phoned Kell, Michael's father, with the threat that Paula could legally remove Michael's body from Australia and to prevent her doing so, they needed to present this document. Colin took Kell to the funeral parlor while he handed over the document so that the administrator would assume the whole family knew of it.
The day after Michael's funeral my mother asked me to call the funeral parlor to have the ashes delivered to the hotel in order for us to get family together for a private internment ceremony. We would perhaps release the ashes on Sydney Harbour . It was only then that I was informed that they could only release the ashes to Colin Diamond and it was his directive to divide the ashes into 3 urns!!!
Just look at the questions. Have all near relatives (Patricia, Rhett and me) been informed of the proposed cremation? His answer ‘ yes' ! Has any near relative of the deceased expressed any objections to the cremation? His answer ‘no' (well I guess he didn't really lie –he hadn't told us about it). Did the deceased leave any written directions as to mode of disposal of the remains of the deceased? His answer, ‘Cremation' – the biggest lie of all.
This was the most painful aspect and the worst of the offenses that the Diamonds directed at our family.
California , U.S.A.