Funeral expenses and final costs? Who pays? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 40 Old 08-15-2008, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
grniys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is just hypothetical at this point. But it's something I'd really like to know the answer to. My MIL is very irresponsible with money. She blows it and has all of $2,000 in 401k. She is divorced, so there is no spouse, and as far as I know she has no life insurance at all.

Right now, as far as I know, she's healthy, but she smokes like a chimney and has for years. So there is that to consider.

We live way across the country from her, but her other son lives only minutes away. While he's older than my dh, he's not very stable and is just now moving out of his own and footing his own bills.

If, God forbid, something were to happen to her, who pays? Are we responsible for at least half the bills for her final costs and funeral expenses and all?

I hate the thought that we may be. I really feel it's each individual's own responsibility to take care of that well before it's ever an issue.

So, legally, what's the deal? Does anyone know?

SAHM to Ninja Boy (6) surf.gif and Monkey Man (4) carrot.gif.

grniys is offline  
#2 of 40 Old 08-15-2008, 12:29 AM
 
kijip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,585
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are no laws requiring you to pay for a parent's funeral or even hold a funeral. You are not held liable for it. However, if no one pays (by arranging with the morgue to have the body transferred to a funeral home or other arrangement), the state will dispose of the body from the morgue as they see fit. Some states cremate, some bury in unmarked graves, some are donated to science...it varies. A cremation is very inexpensive through the Neptune Society or similar. Less than $500 including urn IIRC. Or you can, as the next of kin, arrange for her body to be donated to science yourself and the institution you donate to will pay for the body to be transferred out of the morgue. Some universities will then cremate the remaining remains (after it is used for medical students or research) and return them to the family free of charge.

Katie, mama to one big boy (6/03) and one little boy (12/08).
It is never the wrong time to do the right thing.
kijip is offline  
#3 of 40 Old 08-15-2008, 12:39 AM
 
Ironica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 5,545
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If she has a will, it should say in there. I don't know about medical bills or debt, but in terms of cremation, funeral, etc., the next-of-kin pay (out of the estate if the will provides for it). At the very least, you have to pay the mortuary something in order to get the body disposed of to your liking. I suppose if no one was willing to pay, they'd... do something.

What I've done when it was up to me was cremate or bury (according to the deceased's wishes) for about as cheap as I could, and then throw a memorial a month or two after the death. For my cousin, since she wanted to be buried in her family plot, we did an interment at graveside with no frills... just an awning and some chairs. No procession to the gravesite, no chapel service, no professional eulogy... just a friend of hers playing bagpipes in the background, and all of us getting up and saying what we wanted to. I got the cheapest coffin that was decent-looking; it was covered with cloth. I think the total costs were about $5000 including the plot (paid by the estate). We got the word out somewhat informally to family and close friends, but made it known that there would be a memorial later, and they shouldn't feel any obligation to attend the interment (mostly, we did it because some people feel strongly about that event). It was up to me because, even though I wasn't next-of-kin (she had a living brother), I was named her Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, which also gave me authority over disposition of remains.

For my dad, since he was cremated, I just paid $1500 to the mortuary that ended up with his body, and they shipped me a plastic box full of ashes. One of these days, I have to take some of them to Thailand, and some to mix into some cement next time they're monkeying with the Pueblo, and some to bury with his parents... he told a lot of different people he was going to rest in a lot of different places. ;-)

For each of them, I threw a memorial that was more appropriate a bit removed from the death. In both cases, I had lots of luck (actually, lots of loving friends and colleagues who lent their resources) in finding appropriate locations; my dad, a Los Angeles/California historian, was celebrated at the Pico House (a historic location in Downtown Los Angeles), and my cousin at the art gallery where she took classes and displayed/sold her work. Both locations were available for free, thanks to the folks who held my loved ones dear. We did catering from appropriate inexpensive neighborhood places (Gelson's Supermarket for my cousin, who loved to shop there; a neighborhood Thai restaurant my dad frequented when he visited town for his), and again, just had people get up and say their piece (though with a bit of time to grieve and heal, there was a lot more laughter and fewer tears, which was nice). Those events each cost a couple hundred dollars, and were very fitting tributes.

Does that answer your question? Or clear as mud? ;-) Maybe you should ask her what it says in her will about these things?
Ironica is offline  
#4 of 40 Old 08-15-2008, 01:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
grniys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the info.

She's been very informal about addressing death. She does not have a will, and she is highly unlikely to make one, even if we were to urge her to. But she has told both her son's in great detail exactly what she wants at her lavish funeral, from casket pillows to music and such. She's just never mentioned how she intends for it to be paid for.

To be honest, while your memorial's you held sound lovely, my dh's family would have a fit if we did something like that. They would want a full viewing at a funeral home and a funeral in a church, plus a ceremony at the gravesite. It's what's expected in his family. And frankly, we can not afford that if we were to even have to pay half. It would clean our entire savings out and we'd probably have to go in to debt.

I'm wondering, is it possible for a child to take out a small life insurance policy on a parent to only cover funeral expenses? Or would the person it's for have to do it? Because I can't see her caring enough to buy a policy.

I hope I don't come off as sounding cold and selfish in these posts. I just want to make sure if something horrible happens we won't be set back years financially, and it's highly unlikely MIL will do anything to prepare for this.

DH and I just updated our wills and life insurance policies, so I guess that's what got me to thinking about this.

SAHM to Ninja Boy (6) surf.gif and Monkey Man (4) carrot.gif.

grniys is offline  
#5 of 40 Old 08-15-2008, 01:10 AM
 
Ironica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 5,545
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grniys View Post
Thanks for the info.

She's been very informal about addressing death. She does not have a will, and she is highly unlikely to make one, even if we were to urge her to. But she has told both her son's in great detail exactly what she wants at her lavish funeral, from casket pillows to music and such. She's just never mentioned how she intends for it to be paid for.
Next time she brings this up, ask her. You can say "It sounds like you've got it all planned out! Have you arranged pre-planning with a mortuary? Is this all paid for already?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by grniys View Post
To be honest, while your memorial's you held sound lovely, my dh's family would have a fit if we did something like that. They would want a full viewing at a funeral home and a funeral in a church, plus a ceremony at the gravesite. It's what's expected in his family.
Who's expecting it? If that's what they need for closure, that's totally their prerogative, but they can pay for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grniys View Post
I hope I don't come off as sounding cold and selfish in these posts. I just want to make sure if something horrible happens we won't be set back years financially, and it's highly unlikely MIL will do anything to prepare for this.
Not at all cold or selfish! You're considering her desires and her family's desires and talking about how YOU are going to pay for it! Nothing selfish about that.

But maybe you should be a little *more* selfish. Funerals are for the living. She'll be dead; the only way she gets to plan it is if she actually *does so* and pays for it in advance. If you have to plan it, you *get* to plan it.

If there are others in the family that want a certain type of service, then be frank when it comes up: you and your DH can afford to chip in $X, that service will cost $Y, so each of them need to contribute $Z or you're doing something a lot simpler.
Ironica is offline  
#6 of 40 Old 08-15-2008, 03:57 AM
 
kijip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,585
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, you can get an insurance policy in a small amount for funeral expenses. However, I agree completely with the pp- if she wants lavish, she needs to plan and pay for it in advance (we do not want lavish, we are only 28 and 29 and we have already paid for our gravesites (cremations) because it was easy to do when we buried my FIL). If people in the family expect lavish, they can pay for it. Do not pay for more than you can afford. I'd go so far as to tell her the next time she talks about it that if that is what she is planning on, she needs to find a way to pay for it.

The sort of funeral she is talking about costs a ton of money. Caskets are thousands of dollars excepting the plainest ones, embalming is insanely costly (including being bad for the environment), a grave site for a whole body vs. cremains is in some cases $10,000. An upright headstone is insanely costly these days- easily $5000+. We did a cremation, a simple urn, an urn vault (a box to go around the urn so the ground does not collapse), a simple flat marker and a site for the cremains, a graveside only service, cost us over $5000 for my FIL who wanted a Catholic burial. It sounds like your MIL is thinking more along the lines of $20-30K. Honestly when I die I want any assets to go to my kids, not to paying for a lavish memorial.

Katie, mama to one big boy (6/03) and one little boy (12/08).
It is never the wrong time to do the right thing.
kijip is offline  
#7 of 40 Old 08-15-2008, 09:17 AM
 
Equuskia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Puerto Rico
Posts: 3,259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You're not being selfish at all. When your MIL dies, she'll be dead. You however, are still alive, with living children who need to eat and be clothed. Don't go into debt for someone who's dead and didn't plan well when alive.

My harsh two cents

Equuskia in with Nodtveidt DD1 : DD2 :
Equuskia is offline  
#8 of 40 Old 08-15-2008, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
grniys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ironica, the ones expecting it would be his mom's side of the family. Funerals are generally pretty big for them, and it's just the way they do things. But yeah, if it's going to cost a fortune then I think my dh and I will probably tell them we will contribute x amount of dollars and if they want something better than whatever x amount is they can all chip in, because I'm not going into debt over it.

Wow. 20-30k... that's a lot of money. I had no idea they could be that expensive. I told my dh he should suggest she get a burial policy or some life insurance of some sort. I'm sorry to say this, but if she doesn't do something to plan for that financially, she'll probably just be cremated with a small memorial service if all the cost falls back on us and his brother.

Thanks for all the info everyone. I'm hoping she lives a long and healthy life and decides to get in charge of her finances. I'm not holding my breath on her becoming financially responsible, but it's my hope. My husband is known as the sensible one, and everyone goes to him for advice, so hopefully she'll listen to him.

SAHM to Ninja Boy (6) surf.gif and Monkey Man (4) carrot.gif.

grniys is offline  
#9 of 40 Old 08-15-2008, 01:33 PM
 
Jenelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,519
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grniys View Post
But she has told both her son's in great detail exactly what she wants at her lavish funeral, from casket pillows to music and such.
Wow. Just, wow.

FWIW, we are in a similar situation and that's why I was reading this thread with interest. But in our case, we're so far in debt already that I really, really, don't know how we'd do it. And how embarassing for us to have to have the other brother foot the entire bill. Just thinking about all this scares the crap out of me, and no... I don't think YOU are being selfish... at all!
Jenelle is offline  
#10 of 40 Old 08-15-2008, 01:45 PM
 
shayinme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: land of lobster and lighthouses
Posts: 5,272
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grniys View Post
If, God forbid, something were to happen to her, who pays? Are we responsible for at least half the bills for her final costs and funeral expenses and all?

I hate the thought that we may be. I really feel it's each individual's own responsibility to take care of that well before it's ever an issue.

So, legally, what's the deal? Does anyone know?
If she is not married and has no assets/estates I would imagine she would be declared indigent and the state would bury her in an unmarked grave, growing up in Chicago this was referred to as Potters Field.

My own Mom passed 4 years ago and it was not expected and my folks didn't have the resources to cover it, so I paid for a creamation, it was $1100. My father is clergy so we were able to have a memorial service at no-cost, conducted by a friend of the family who is also a minister.

If she wants a certain type of service she should probably get burial insurance, that's what my grandma had who passed 3 years ago but there was still some costs not covered and money was needed upfront. Im her case we had a family plot but money was needed to cover opening it up plus the traditional funeral costs.

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
shayinme is offline  
#11 of 40 Old 08-15-2008, 01:46 PM
 
phatchristy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Controlled chaos...
Posts: 9,371
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My mother has everything set up in her will already, when my sister passed my mom bought two other grave plots next to hers for them.

I don't know how much the plots were, but they were A LOT. Probably 10 grand or so each. Then, I know when my dad passed the funeral home expenses were over $10,000 for that. Then about $6,000 for the 'reception' afterwards at a hall. I think the flowers were another $900 or so. I actually had them do my dad's flowers out of artificial...which was perfect actually...(I swear he was telling me to do that--The day of the burial somehow the cemetary misplaced and we later learned threw out ALL of the flowers after the ceremony...except the ones I had made for him, which were returned back to the funeral home so I could take them with me). It's some sort of weird generational thing. Embalming (ICK), viewing the body for a few days (UGH), then a long drawn out funeral and luncheon reception.

I would be absolutely horrified if something happened to me and my family did that kind of thing. As a family member who has had two immediate family members die, and having gone through those funerals, they are ABSOLUTELY miserable. Just horrible. And, who honestly wants to see their loved ones body dead and preserved artificially? Who does?

Of course, we're not those people who do things because they're done. That's what my mom said when I asked her about their arrangements...we do it because that's what people do.

I would want them to cremate me, which is inexpensive. Then, have some sort of party maybe a month or two after I died and spend some time talking about all the happy times and wonderful things in my life.

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

phatchristy is offline  
#12 of 40 Old 08-15-2008, 01:55 PM
 
SleeplessMommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,421
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It is really important to make plans in advance. The funeral directors will be pushing all of your buttons about "honoring your loved one." Every single service at the funeral home has a price tag, including an informal viewing (without makeup) for the close family members.

My personal goal is cremation "in a plain cardboard box". Relative X had asked for this and her children insisted on a (low end) wooden box - they also paid for it. It is all ashes anyway at this point.

One thing to keep in mind - in the funeral industry there are many "online" source for caskets, flowers, urns, etc. You can get these items on the cheap if you plan in advance. For the services (room, makeup, music, etc) you are stuck using your local funeral home and stuck with their rates.

If you talk with the MIL about this, she may not forgive you. If you refuse to pay "your part" of the mega funeral, your relatives may be pissed off. On the other hand, I see absolutely no reason to hold a $30K party for a deceased person. After the party, she will still be deceased - and as others have pointed out, meeting expenses for the living may be more important.

(It is like the difference between the Bridezilla wedding and a justice of the peace wedding - both couples are equally married, just one has much more credit card debt.)

Social security will pay $225 toward the burial. And you can sell her car if she has one. Make decisions now about the "Deadzilla" Funeral.
SleeplessMommy is offline  
#13 of 40 Old 08-15-2008, 02:23 PM
 
Jilian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equuskia View Post
You're not being selfish at all. When your MIL dies, she'll be dead. You however, are still alive, with living children who need to eat and be clothed. Don't go into debt for someone who's dead and didn't plan well when alive.

My harsh two cents
Amen to that! You should really bring this up with her. My mom sounds a lot like your MIL and I've brought it up with her. It isn't fair to leave the expenses to someone else like that. Funerals aren't cheap!

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
Jilian is offline  
#14 of 40 Old 08-15-2008, 03:43 PM
 
WC_hapamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,672
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In most CA counties, if a family member doesn't make arrangements for the disposition of a body, it's considered "unclaimed" and is cremated after a few months. After that, the cremains sit around for a few years and are then interred in a mass grave with other unclaimed bodies for that year.
WC_hapamama is offline  
#15 of 40 Old 08-15-2008, 10:52 PM
 
tonyarn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Marion, Iowa
Posts: 166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I realize this is a bit different, but when we lost Tucker Dean (stillborn) the cost for his plot (16' X 4') was $100 at a country cemetery, and everything totalled up to $1500 (he was not cremated) with the exception of the minister who we paid $50 to and the headstone which my parents MADE. We wanted to purchase the complete plot (16' X 16') so that Jonathan and I and possibly Kaitlyn could all be buried together. Each 16' X 4' section was $100, so I owed them $300 cash aside from Tucker's portion which was included in the funeral home bill. Anyway, I called my life insurance company to see if I had coverage for an unborn child, and they said I did, but they don't cover stillborns "because funeral homes pay for those." ??? Never have figured that one out. Anyway, I began calling local churches, and almost the entire bill was paid for by the churches that I asked for help. There was like $300ish left, and I applied for modestneeds who paid the remainder, so I didn't have to pay any of that $1500 bill. As far as the $300 to the cemetery goes, I was making payments to them (they agreed to this), but just before Christmas they sent me the deed saying that we had been through enough and to consider the remainder of the plot a gift. I bet it was $150 or a bit more of a "gift" they gave us. Anyway, all this to say that the funeral home will take payments also, they don't expect the money up front.
tonyarn is offline  
#16 of 40 Old 08-16-2008, 12:48 AM
 
mar123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 582
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My mom died at the age of 59, 2.5 years ago. She had been ill for the last 20 years, but it was still unexpected. She had donated her body to science in a neighboring state and it was important to her. She was ill for so long and she was hoping to have a lasting impact on research by donating her body. They refused to take it b/c this was post-Katrina and we live in New Orleans. It cost me $400 to have her body shipped to the medical school in state. They later sent back her ashes, which I didn't know about and was shocked to get. I knew about her plans, but really was caught blindsided on how to carry them out, at the time. We had a memorial service at her church 2 weeks after she died. She did not have my name on any financial accounts and I had no idea where her will was (I found it months later, but it was not notarized so it wouldn't have mattered) It cost about $1500 to do the act of succession. I had to wait about 8 weeks to get access to her money (not a lot but it paid for everything and we didn't have any extra since we were still rebuilding after the storm)

My parents were divorced and this really opened my eyes. I have made sure my dad has everything planned out, money set aside for it, and his will complete. I am an only child and it was tough to do all of this alone, at an age when I never thought I would face it.

I would talk with her about her wishes and see what she has arranged and make it clear she needs to take the reigns if it is important to her.
mar123 is offline  
#17 of 40 Old 08-16-2008, 01:04 AM
 
Minerva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Downers Grove, IL USA
Posts: 443
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Funerals gets expensive fast. If she wants something lavish, she'd better be pre-paying or be otherwise putting aside for it.

Technically, the estate should be paying for the funeral and associated costs (death certificates, notices, etc). If she doesn't have a will, sit down with her and have a nice chat about what you can afford to do if she doesn't leave enough money to cover the funeral she wants. She may get a reality check from that.

I know for my father's funeral, it was a military service. The government paid for the military guard, the plot in the national cemetery, marker, and grave opening and closing fees, and the grave will be maintained perpetually. All we had to pay for was the coffin, the funeral home costs, the transport costs, the flowers, the post-funeral dinner, and the death certificates. We ended up not running an obit in the paper since by the time the government got back to us about which day we could have the service, it was too late. Our out-of-pocket fees were about $7000, which got repaid from the estate once we had the death certificates and got the estate opened.

2 happy kids makes for a happy mother.

Minerva is offline  
#18 of 40 Old 08-16-2008, 01:59 AM
 
thewaggonerfamily's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: The mitten state
Posts: 970
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think you can get a life insurance policy on her, she just has to sign something. I don't think you can (Make that, are supposed to...) have a life ins policy on someone without their knowledge. If she gives you a hard time, explain its so she can have the funeral she wants...

Katie, mama to Katherine 21, Christian 19, Johannah 17, Nicholas 12, Genevieve 10, Matthew 7, Andrew 11/16/09 10#6oz home waterbirth and madly in love with my husband, Scott
thewaggonerfamily is offline  
#19 of 40 Old 08-16-2008, 09:26 AM
 
doctormom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Cary NC
Posts: 575
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Funerals get expensive quickly - the "bereavement counselor" at a funeral home will encourage the grieving family to purchase as many extras as possible, and families usually don't have the time or emotional fortitude to comparison-shop.

When my grandmother died last summer, her sons spent $10,000 on the funeral. This paid for a low-end wood casket, embalming, the concrete casket vault (keeps the ground from settling), opening and closing the burial plot (purchased years prior), a low-end floral arrangement placed on the casket (yellow and white daisies), visitation the evening prior to burial, the hearse plus one vehicle for family, a simple ceremony in the chapel of the funeral home, a simple ceremony in the chapel of the "memorial park," a guestbook, and miscellaneous other fees for transporting and handling the body. (I think it was $100 or so to take the body from home to the funeral home - a 15 minute drive - everything to do with the funeral industry is so over-inflated!)

Personally, I think my grandmother - who grew up in the Depression, and saved bread-wrappers and twist-ties - would have been appalled. She was one of the most frugal people I know. But, it was the funeral her sons needed for closure, and I hope it was healing for them.

I did some comparison shopping on short notice and found a place called "Discount Casket" nearby, where I found the same casket and concrete liners on sale for half the price the funeral home charged - with free delivery no less - but the rest of the family was scandalized at the idea of discount shopping for a casket.

The pressure for the upsell at the funeral home was amazing - everything was presented as "of course, for your beloved mother, you'll be wanting the premiere xyz option," which was always more $$$. And who's going to say "nah, just do the cheap one" under those circumstances?

Your MIL, if she really wants the elaborate ceremony you described, needs to be responsible for pre-paying her funeral expenses. If she has a particular funeral home and memorial park in mind, perhaps you could encourage her to do so now by "helpfully" making appointments for her to discuss the available options and what they will cost. I'll bet it will be eye-opening!

Cindy, part-time family doc, full-time Mommy to Jared (2/04) and Connor (2/08) :
doctormom is offline  
#20 of 40 Old 08-16-2008, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
grniys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh man, the more I think about it the more it gives me a headache. My dh and I have been reading this over and discussing it though, and we're both in agreement that if she doesn't make plans or have the money ahead of time to do a big funeral, it'll just be a cremation and a memorial. Thanks for all the details everyone. It's been very enlightening and the info has helped my dh and I make some hard decisions well in advance of anything happening.

SAHM to Ninja Boy (6) surf.gif and Monkey Man (4) carrot.gif.

grniys is offline  
#21 of 40 Old 08-16-2008, 05:45 PM
 
Tradd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,160
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Something I have begun to see (among us Orthodox Christians in my area, anyway) is a wake (viewing) at the church for about four hours the late afternoon/evening of the day before the funeral, which is the next morning. It helps to keep costs down (I don't know how much) because you're not renting funeral home space. Plus, it's familiar surroundings since the deceased and/or family members were members of this particular church. The viewing is in the church itself, not a hall.

lady.gif
Tradd is offline  
#22 of 40 Old 08-16-2008, 07:26 PM
 
Belleweather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Heart of the Heartland
Posts: 3,249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grniys View Post

I'm wondering, is it possible for a child to take out a small life insurance policy on a parent to only cover funeral expenses? Or would the person it's for have to do it? Because I can't see her caring enough to buy a policy.
It's absolutely possible -- it's called "Preneed Funeral Insurance", and you can either Google it or call funeral homes and find out if they offer it. I work for a company that underwrites preneed insurance and I know that we, at least, will allow a son or daughter to buy a policy on their parent without the parent needing to be present or sign. You'd have to pay premiums in, and generally they're whole life policies, so the premiums will be higher than term life and they will have a cash value, so you want to make sure to be the owner of the policy so she can't cash it in or borrow against it. But if you're worried that you'll be faced with the need and expense of a big traditional funeral (which runs in the $12-25k range, easily...), preneed is the way to go.

Spending all of my money and time on this wild, wild life.
Belleweather is offline  
#23 of 40 Old 08-17-2008, 12:02 AM
 
MsHiss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 210
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grniys View Post
Thanks for the info.

She's been very informal about addressing death. She does not have a will, and she is highly unlikely to make one, even if we were to urge her to. But she has told both her son's in great detail exactly what she wants at her lavish funeral, from casket pillows to music and such. She's just never mentioned how she intends for it to be paid for.

To be honest, while your memorial's you held sound lovely, my dh's family would have a fit if we did something like that. They would want a full viewing at a funeral home and a funeral in a church, plus a ceremony at the gravesite. It's what's expected in his family. And frankly, we can not afford that if we were to even have to pay half. It would clean our entire savings out and we'd probably have to go in to debt.

I'm wondering, is it possible for a child to take out a small life insurance policy on a parent to only cover funeral expenses? Or would the person it's for have to do it? Because I can't see her caring enough to buy a policy.

I hope I don't come off as sounding cold and selfish in these posts. I just want to make sure if something horrible happens we won't be set back years financially, and it's highly unlikely MIL will do anything to prepare for this.

DH and I just updated our wills and life insurance policies, so I guess that's what got me to thinking about this.

LOL!! I could have written that about my MIL! She insists on a 'jazz funeral' but lives in KY. I would be shocked if she had $2000 put away anywhere and I know she has no life insurance or done any preplanning.

You can get a policy on her, but depending on her age and health it could be very expensive and she will probably have to sign to acknowledge it, if not get a physical, depending on the state she lives in. Good luck!
MsHiss is offline  
#24 of 40 Old 08-17-2008, 07:33 PM
 
1growingsprout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyarn View Post
I realize this is a bit different, but when we lost Tucker Dean (stillborn) the cost for his plot (16' X 4') was $100 at a country cemetery, and everything totalled up to $1500 (he was not cremated) with the exception of the minister who we paid $50 to and the headstone which my parents MADE. We wanted to purchase the complete plot (16' X 16') so that Jonathan and I and possibly Kaitlyn could all be buried together. Each 16' X 4' section was $100, so I owed them $300 cash aside from Tucker's portion which was included in the funeral home bill. Anyway, I called my life insurance company to see if I had coverage for an unborn child, and they said I did, but they don't cover stillborns "because funeral homes pay for those." ??? Never have figured that one out. Anyway, I began calling local churches, and almost the entire bill was paid for by the churches that I asked for help. There was like $300ish left, and I applied for modestneeds who paid the remainder, so I didn't have to pay any of that $1500 bill. As far as the $300 to the cemetery goes, I was making payments to them (they agreed to this), but just before Christmas they sent me the deed saying that we had been through enough and to consider the remainder of the plot a gift. I bet it was $150 or a bit more of a "gift" they gave us. Anyway, all this to say that the funeral home will take payments also, they don't expect the money up front.
I have NEVER seen a funeral home take payments, they always want the $$ upfront. Both in Ohio, Arizona and Colorado they all want $$ upfront.
1growingsprout is offline  
#25 of 40 Old 08-17-2008, 08:36 PM
 
tonyarn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Marion, Iowa
Posts: 166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hmmm? I know they would have been more than willing to take payments from us, had we not gotten the help we did. As it was, it took about 2 months for all the money to come in and the bill to be paid in full. I do suppose it depends on the circumstances too, though. I mean, a young, pregnant couple probably doesn't have the plans or the funds laying around to bury their child yanno?
tonyarn is offline  
#26 of 40 Old 08-17-2008, 10:15 PM
 
kijip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,585
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyarn View Post
I realize this is a bit different, but when we lost Tucker Dean (stillborn) the cost for his plot (16' X 4') was $100 at a country cemetery, and everything totalled up to $1500 (he was not cremated) with the exception of the minister who we paid $50 to and the headstone which my parents MADE. We wanted to purchase the complete plot (16' X 16') so that Jonathan and I and possibly Kaitlyn could all be buried together. Each 16' X 4' section was $100, so I owed them $300 cash aside from Tucker's portion which was included in the funeral home bill. Anyway, I called my life insurance company to see if I had coverage for an unborn child, and they said I did, but they don't cover stillborns "because funeral homes pay for those." ??? Never have figured that one out. Anyway, I began calling local churches, and almost the entire bill was paid for by the churches that I asked for help. There was like $300ish left, and I applied for modestneeds who paid the remainder, so I didn't have to pay any of that $1500 bill. As far as the $300 to the cemetery goes, I was making payments to them (they agreed to this), but just before Christmas they sent me the deed saying that we had been through enough and to consider the remainder of the plot a gift. I bet it was $150 or a bit more of a "gift" they gave us. Anyway, all this to say that the funeral home will take payments also, they don't expect the money up front.
I am sorry that you lost your precious baby.

Infant funerals are totally different than adult funerals for costs and charitable assistance. Our cemetery for example, buries all infants for free as a public service and many churches have funds for infant funerals. While some will help with other funerals, it is harder to find.

Katie, mama to one big boy (6/03) and one little boy (12/08).
It is never the wrong time to do the right thing.
kijip is offline  
#27 of 40 Old 08-18-2008, 10:20 AM
 
Amys1st's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,449
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My question for the lavish funeral wanter- does she have enough people who would come to this funeral??

Sounds silly, but the younger you are, the more people come. My grandfather was 96 when he died. All of his relatives and friends who would be invited/attend, died many years ago already. So it was basically his children (my dad and my aunt) and my grandmother who was 90 at the time. When she died two years later, again it was our family and that was about it. Both wanted to be and were cremated and then we had a private service.

Having a huge funeral is fine if the dead had planned for the event. But if there would not really be people to attend, then why bother? Of course in the movie the Big chill, I remember a line at the funeral part- a friend said "Unbelieveable, they put on the biggest party for you the day they know you cannot come."

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
Amys1st is offline  
#28 of 40 Old 08-18-2008, 10:45 AM
 
mightymoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Mass. Confusion
Posts: 10,940
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hmm, my uncle died penniless and we had a wake and funeral for him, all the traditional stuff and it cost I think $7000. We got him the cheapest casket (which was still looked very nice), had a wake at a funeral home, the funeral at the church he attended as a kid and the interment with the headstone. We had a closed casket, because the director advised it based on the position he died in (he died of diabetic shock) and mom and I discussed buying him a new suit to be buried in, but he didn't wear suits and it just seemed strange to bury him in something he didn't own, so we buried him in his red sox gear, which I think he would have liked, but it also saved money.

We had all the regular stuff, except we didn't have any sort of limos or fancy transportation other than the herse (do people even do that anymore?). He had no money so we had to sell all his old records, beater cars, etc to cover the funeral expenses, which we did manage to do, so the estate paid for it. I don't remember if it said in his will, but his nieces and nephews were the heirs anyway.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
mightymoo is offline  
#29 of 40 Old 08-18-2008, 12:09 PM
 
papschmitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My mom died last August after a very short 2 month battle with cancer. We had no time to prepare. My dad was a mess emotionally and totally freaked out about surviving financially without her. My sister has NO spare money. I'm not rolling in cash but I was in the best position to help out so I volunteered to pay for everything. Thank goodness for my savings account! She wanted to be creamated which cost $700. We didn't get a fancy urn since she wanted her ashes scattered near our family cabin so the ashes came back to me in a plastic container. I do have to say that the funeral home we used to do the cremation was wonderful. They didn't pressure me on ANYTHING. We held a memorial service at our church with a tea and cookie reception which was free of charge (though I did make a donation). I bought a huge stash of beautiful flowers from the farmer's market for less than $100 and put them in lovely vases that I picked up at the dollar store. My aunt made a lovely slide show with pictures of my mom from birth until her final weeks set to music, this didn't cost me anything. I also paid for all the certified copies of the death certificate we needed for her various accounts. I paid a lot of my dad's monthly bills for the first couple months after she died but, not counting that, I think I spent less than $1000 on her funeral expenses. My mom was the queen of bargain shopping so she would have been proud.

I would never want my family to bear a huge financial burden financing my death. Celebrate my life within reason - keep it simple and cheap.
papschmitty is offline  
#30 of 40 Old 08-18-2008, 12:21 PM
 
abi&ben'smom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 540
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am very worried about this. Dh and I are the only financially responsible people in our families; and I'm scared that my family will expect us to be the ones to pay for any funeral expenses. Dh is so responsible with our money that it drives me nuts; and to have someone expect that money be spent on a funeral. Oh, man. Dh and I both want to be donated to research, and keep the ashes please. No funeral, no nothing. Does anyone else ever do this? I'd rather our dc have all of our hard earned money than the funeral companies.
abi&ben'smom is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off