Shelby's body remains in a morgue at Baylor Hospital in Dallas while courts sort out if his children will be allowed to cremate him, or his wife will be able to call the last shot for her husband.
According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, Shelby left written instructions that his eldest son, Michael Shelby, should arrange for the cremation of the body. In the document filed with the court and signed and notarized Feb. 8, Shelby said he wanted his ashes "divided equally among and given to each of my then living children and one additional equal share to be buried in my parents' family plot in Leesburg, Texas." A 2008 document also empowers Michael Shelby to make funeral arrangements, reported the DMN.
The last wife of the legendary master of muscle cars, Cleo Shelby, is charging that the Feb. 8 document was "forged" because by that date Shelby lacked the ability to sign a document. Moreover, she said that following an August 2010 stroke Carroll Shelby executed a new health care power of attorney assigning her as the primary health decision maker and that named Michael Shelby as alternate health care agent.
Disputes like this are common among families where there are children and multiple spouses involved, especially when it comes to the rich and famous. When baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams died in 2002, he wanted to be simply cremated and buried in the Florida Keys where he lived and fished. His children John Henry and Claudia chose to have his body frozen cryogenically, setting off a national bru-ha-ha in which the children were criticized for dragging the body of their late, and much revered, father through a ghoulish idea to profit from the Hall of Famer's death.
When Hollywood blonde bombshell Anna Nicole Smith died a courtroom packed with attorneys, grieving family and friends argued for days about not only who should have custody of Anna Nicole Smith's baby girl, but also how and where to bury Smith's body. The same fight erupted over singer James Brown, whose body wasn't buried for months because family members fought over his wishes.