How to record unconfirmed Death of Spouse

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TCrompton3
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How to record unconfirmed Death of Spouse

#1

Post by TCrompton3 »

After reviewing the ward membership records, we identified a recorded non-member spouse of an elderly Cambodian member. She and her family escaped Cambodia in 1974 as the communist Pol Pot regime took over Cambodia and began the killing fields. The member states that she escaped with her daughter and her son, but her husband was not able to escape. There was no record of her husband being killed, but the Pol Pot regime killed one out of every three people in the country, especially anyone who was literate or had any sort of connection with the previous government. The member does not believe her husband survived and neither does the local ward leadership. In any event, no one by that name lives at the current address.

So what is the best course of action? Do I record the spouse as deceased (even though I have no certificate or date of death)? Or do I just terminate the name from the household and change the marriage status? Thoughts?
lajackson
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Re: How to record unconfirmed Death of Spouse

#2

Post by lajackson »

Normally, you would terminate her marriage and show the death of her spouse as the cause. Since you don't have a date of death, I think you will need LUS help to do it. Don't just delete him. They were married, after all.

Although Handbook 1:3.7.7 does not specifically apply, it does provide guidance. If it has been that long (and that seems to be so), I would work with Local Unit Support to record the death or her husband, or send a message with details through MLS messaging.
russellhltn
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Re: How to record unconfirmed Death of Spouse

#3

Post by russellhltn »

I think the question I'd ask is what is her legal marital status? Make the membership records match.

There is a legal process for dealing with a spouse that's been missing for 40+ years. If she wants to pursue it is a different matter.
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lajackson
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Re: How to record unconfirmed Death of Spouse

#4

Post by lajackson »

russellhltn wrote:There is a legal process for dealing with a spouse that's been missing for 40+ years.
The laws vary from state to state and are specific to the particular state. Most allow you to do something long before that length of time.
russellhltn
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Re: How to record unconfirmed Death of Spouse

#5

Post by russellhltn »

lajackson wrote:The laws vary from state to state and are specific to the particular state. Most allow you to do something long before that length of time.
Agreed. I'm just suggesting that it's not the church's place to determine status - just that the records match the member's legal status.

I'd think that in this case, due to the circumstances (taking place in a distant war-torn country), her status is whatever she wants it to be. However, she's not going to be able to be sealed to anyone until it's resolved. So, my advice is find out what the member wants and proceed from there.

Assuming she does want the death recorded, I'd call Local Unit Support and have a chat with them on the best way to handle it.
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