Williams v. Williams
In the English case of Williams v. Williams, 20 Ch. D. 659, 659 (1881), the court in England held that "there can be no property in the dead body of a human being." This has been widely followed in American courts, though a cause of action based in tort for mishandling a dead body has been recognized.
In that case, a deceased person's mistress sued his estate in order to pay for cremation of his body, which the mistress obtained pursuant to the deceased's testamentary wishes after he was buried by his surviving widow and children.