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Attorneys for Williams#039; children discuss body#039;s fate


-- Attorneys for the son and oldest daughter of Ted Williams and his estate met Monday to discuss whether the Hall of Famer's body will remain frozen.

They hoped to reach a compromise so a judge won't decide the fate of Williams' remains, an estate source said on condition of anonymity.

The estate's attorneys were expected to ask that a judge decide the issue when they file Ted Williams' will. The attorneys missed Monday's deadline for filing the document, but probate experts said such deadlines are rarely enforced. The attorneys did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

John Henry Williams and his half sister, Bobby-Jo Williams Ferrell, have been feuding since the slugger died July 5.

John Henry Williams had the body flown to a cryonics lab in Arizona to be frozen against the wishes of Ferrell, who says their father always wanted to be cremated and have his ashes scattered over the Florida Keys.

Cryonics advocates says science might one day be able to thaw a body, cure whatever killed the person and restore life. Most experts say that's highly unlikely. Ferrell has also speculated that her half brother may want to sell their father's DNA.

Ferrell's attorney has said that the estate's attorneys told him that the will requested that Ted Williams be cremated. The attorney, John Heer, didn't return phone messages left Monday at his Cleveland office and Ferrell's home in Hernando, Fla.

Eric Abel, an attorney for John Henry Williams, also didn't return a phone call.

A third daughter, Claudia Williams, appeared to offer an olive branch to her siblings in a statement released Sunday. Claudia Williams hasn't publicly said what she wants done with her father's body, although it has been reported that she is siding with her brother.

''This is a time for our family to come together to support each other,'' she said.

Usually, if a will doesn't specify what should be done with the body, the closest next-of-kin has the right to make that decision. In this case, though, John Henry Williams and Ferrell have equal standing.

If Ted Williams' will makes no mention of how he wanted his body disposed, a judge could face some thorny questions in deciding what to do with the remains, said Bruce A. McDonald, a Pensacola attorney who specializes in probate law.

''A judge will decide what is the most logical, although I'm sure to some judges (freezing the body) will seem like science fiction and a wild scheme,'' McDonald said. The Associated Press