who pays the funeral expenses for a parent?

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Latest post 07-27-2012 6:41 AM by smithpatten. 11 replies.
  • 06-18-2008 2:15 AM

    • quasi
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    • Joined on 06-18-2008
    • Posts 11

    Question [=?] who pays the funeral expenses for a parent?

    Who pays the funeral expenses for a parent?

    I live in Florida. My sister lives in Ohio, where my father lived. We also have a brother who lives in Indiana. She handled all of the funeral expenses without my knowledge, and I was not a party to the contract to the funeral home, and did not verbally agree to pay for any of the expenses. The funeral director would not provide me any information about the funeral, saying my sister was his customer. My brother later forced my sister to give up the ashes in an urn and bury them next to my mother.

    I could not afford to go to the funeral or the burial of the ashes. My father named the three of us as beneficiaries to a slightly unevenly divided life insurance (according to her), which more than covers the cost of the funeral. The insurance companies directly sent me a share of his life insurance amount. I really do not know the total value of the life insurance policies. Supposedly, my father made the funeral home out as the beneficiary of at least some of the funeral costs; I have a copy of such document signed by my father and witnessed by my sister.

    My sister has filed bankruptcy since the funeral, and I believe she even so may have listed the funeral home as a creditor on her case.

    I think it appropriate that since my sister has treated me poorly for many years, and has shut me out of the funeral process completely, I should not have to pay any of the funeral expenses. My sister now wants me to pay one-third of the expenses or she will "take me to court" and have a "lien placed on my home".

    First, am I responsible for any part of the funeral expenses and can she make me pay any portion of the expenses? Where must she file a small claim for those expenses she said she is due, Ohio or Florida? Do I really owe anyone anything towards those funeral expenses?

    Thank you for your advice.
    Quasi
  • 06-18-2008 9:51 AM In reply to

    re: who pays the funeral expenses for a parent?

    "I think it appropriate that since my sister has treated me poorly for many years, and has shut me out of the funeral process completely, I should not have to pay any of the funeral expenses."

    That's not a "legal" reason for not paying.

    The "legal" reason is simply that you have no obligation to pay since your sister voluntarily handled it on her own.

    The assets of the estate are supposed to pay the decedent's debts and final expenses.

    Life insurance passes outside the estate.

    "My sister now wants me to pay one-third of the expenses or she will "take me to court" and have a "lien placed on my home"."

    Probably blowing smoke. You have the option of telling her to pound sand.

    "First, am I responsible for any part of the funeral expenses"

    Not legally.

    "and can she make me pay any portion of the expenses?"

    Short of putting a gun to your head, no.

    "Where must she file a small claim for those expenses she said she is due, Ohio or Florida?"

    Florida.

    "Do I really owe anyone anything towards those funeral expenses?"

    I don't think so.




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  • 06-18-2008 11:06 AM In reply to

    re: who pays the funeral expenses for a parent?

    "I think it appropriate that since my sister has treated me poorly for many years, and has shut me out of the funeral process completely, I should not have to pay any of the funeral expenses."

    This has nothing to do with your sister. It's about the proper disposition of your father's remains.

    "First, am I responsible for any part of the funeral expenses and can she make me pay any portion of the expenses?"

    No.

    "Where must she file a small claim for those expenses she said she is due, Ohio or Florida?"

    Florida.

    "Do I really owe anyone anything towards those funeral expenses?"

    I think this is the same as the first question above.
  • 06-18-2008 11:18 AM In reply to

    re: who pays the funeral expenses for a parent?

    None of you has to use the life insurance proceeds to pay for father's funeral/burial expenses.

    If your sister contracted with the funeral home, she and she alone is responsible for paying the bill. She's free to seek reimbursement from the estate, which would not include the life insurance proceeds if you kids were named beneficiaries (vs. the estate).

    "My sister has filed bankruptcy since the funeral, and I believe she even so may have listed the funeral home as a creditor on her case."

    I'd bet the bankruptcy trustee will be inquiring why she didn't get your father's estate to reimburse.

    "I think it appropriate that since my sister has treated me poorly for many years, and has shut me out of the funeral process completely, I should not have to pay any of the funeral expenses."

    Why you don't want to pay is irrelevant (to us anyway).

    "My sister now wants me to pay one-third of the expenses or she will "take me to court" and have a "lien placed on my home"."

    Yeah, well, she'd lose.

    "Do I really owe anyone anything towards those funeral expenses?"

    You should already know the answer to this if you know that you didn't sign a contract taking responsibility for them.
  • 06-18-2008 12:31 PM In reply to

    • quasi
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    • Joined on 06-18-2008
    • Posts 11

    More [=+=] re: who pays the funeral expenses for a parent?

    BTW, My father died intestate. He owned nothing of consequence in Ohio and was on medicaid in nursing home when he died. He did have a car that went to my sister before he died, and he had an expensive motorized wheelchair worth probably $3000.00 new. My sister also got that plus all of his household belongings and a small amount of money about $200.00 or so from his checking account. I have no problem on this issue.

    The nursing home did not do the paperwork properly, and so we have a few acres of a hillside and some mineral rights in Kentucky that belonged to my father. Since Ohio would not process a will for a person who has nothing, we had to use the "affidavit of descent" in Kentucky to change ownership of the property there. It is considered a "deed of conveyance" under Kentucky law. The affidavit to that has already been processed. The land is in all three of our names jointly and we each have an alike share of the mineral rights which includes 5 gas wells. This land and mineral originally belonged to my father's mother and was divided among my father's four siblings and then between the three of us.

    Could she attach my potion of the land or mineral rights?
  • 06-18-2008 1:01 PM In reply to

    re: who pays the funeral expenses for a parent?

    "My sister also got that plus all of his household belongings and a small amount of money about $200.00 or so from his checking account. I have no problem on this issue."

    Technically speaking, your sister should have liquidated whatever assets he had and used those to pay for the funeral expenses. She can consider whatever she took as compensation.

    "The nursing home did not do the paperwork properly, and so we have a few acres of a hillside and some mineral rights in Kentucky that belonged to my father."

    Not sure what the former has to do with the latter, but if Medicaid doesn't care to look into the issue of overlooked non-exempt assets that it can go after to reimburse the Medicaid system, so be it.

    "Could she attach my potion of the land or mineral rights?"

    Again, no. She'd have to win a lawsuit and get a judgment, and that's not going to happen (unless she sued and you ignored the lawsuit and she got a default judgment).
  • 06-18-2008 3:08 PM In reply to

    re: who pays the funeral expenses for a parent?

    All three of us already told you that your sister has no viable claim against you.
  • 06-18-2008 5:19 PM In reply to

    • quasi
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    • Joined on 06-18-2008
    • Posts 11

    Ok [+0+] re: who pays the funeral expenses for a parent?

    Thank you for your responses and advice. I just thought further clarification of the situation might make a difference somehow.
  • 06-19-2008 1:55 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 48,250

    re: who pays the funeral expenses for a parent?

    Nope, the polite answer is to tell Sis to pound sand

    If the Medicaid folks were kicked in shins they might want to get at those gas rights etc.

    If Sis files bankrupcy her creditors might wind up owning her share of the gas stuff.

    Be careful Sis doesn't muck up the rest of the picture.



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