Financial Responsibility for Funeral Costs

Planning for your funeral expenses helps reduce the stress on your loved ones in their time of grief. This guide is about financial responsibility for funeral costs.
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May 15, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

My ex-husband just passed and I was told by the funeral home that being that we were married 25 years and never married anyone else that I am responsible for half of the funeral expense. Is this true that there is a law for this?

May 16, 20150 found this helpful

Sounds to me like the funeral home is doing a number on you, trying to "sell" you.

Despite being divorced, you were together a number of years and I'm sorry for your loss.

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May 16, 20150 found this helpful

I enjoy learning. I do a lot of research on the Internet. This time I'll guess, instead. If anyone does research this subject, they are welcome to show me right or wrong.

I'm guessing there's no state or federal law making anyone responsible for anothers funeral expenses. That includes children, parents, spouses or ex spouses.

Even if you were the beneficiary of a burial policy for the deceased, I don't think there's any law requiring a person to use the money for its intended purpose.

We may, in time, be required to carry burial insurance made payable to a state approved or state appointed undertaker....pretty much like today's car insurance. I wouldn't doubt it.

Hope I haven't given the undertakers and legislators any ideas.

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May 16, 20150 found this helpful

I never heard of such a thing! Please check with your state and local governments about this. I think someone is trying to take advantage of you. Sorry about his passing, but I believe you have no obligations where he is concerned.

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May 16, 20150 found this helpful

Absolutely not! You are NOT responsible for any of the burial costs!

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March 15, 2016 Flag
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My sister and I are not close. If she passes, am I responsible for her funeral costs?

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March 16, 20160 found this helpful

Why not ask a lawyer (and mention where you both live)? I understand the laws differ rather markedly from place to place.

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March 16, 20160 found this helpful

This link answers some questions.

http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_li ... l-costs-after-a-relatives-death.html

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February 5, 2014 Flag
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My mother in-law remarried 8 years ago. They live in my mother's home and he will continue to live there after her death. She has let her life insurance lapse and she is now 80 years old. If she died first who should be responsible for paying for her funeral?

By Harriet W.

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February 5, 20140 found this helpful

That is something your husband should discuss with his mother and step father. That being said, if there aren't any plans already made, it would depend on how your husband feels about his mother. There are inexpensive funeral plans. If nobody in the family can afford a funeral, counties will do an inexpensive one.

In my case I will have to have the county pay my final expenses and there is one cemetery in town that has one area that has been blessed and is referred to as a spreading garden, where a person's ashes can be spread and a cement stepping stone is made with the person's name, date, etc. and put in place in the garden, all this for $100.00, plus the cost of cremation.

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February 6, 20140 found this helpful

Bodies can be donated to a university for research. But I don't think anyone can be held financially responsible for another's fineral expenses. I could be wrong. I don't have a whole lot of friends, only one sibling left so I've told my two children, no funeral, no viewing and as simple as you can make it. That does not mean you loved me any less and I'd rather they have my money than a funeral director who would, more than likely, try to rip them off.

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February 6, 20140 found this helpful

Red Hatter has some very sensible advice. This is for your husband to discuss with his mother, and it depends very much on how you wish to celebrate her life after her passing. Many people prepay for their funerals, so that their children are not burdened with expense, nor spend far more on a show for the community than the parent would want.

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December 2, 20140 found this helpful

If the man she remarried is still alive, he is responsible for the costs of her funeral. Best to have a discussion with both of them. If she paid into the policy long term then there may be funds. You need to find that out.

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September 3, 2013 Flag
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I am legally married to a woman who recently passed away. Her family decided to pull the plug and I was present during that decision. Now they want me to pay for her funeral, but we haven't been together for more than 14 years. Am I legally responsible to pay the funeral cost?

By DP

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September 4, 20130 found this helpful

Yes, legal spouse followed by adult children. Perhaps you could all pitch in? You can cremate for less than $1,000 in WA state.

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September 5, 20130 found this helpful

You are saying that you and your wife have been separated for 14 years, and there is no one in her family who would rather step up and take care of her funeral? Did no one care for this poor woman? Were you living totally separate lives, or was she confined to a care home or something like that? Well, that isn't really my business, but it seems to me that whoever inherits her estate should step up and take care of the expenses. However, if there is no estate, and you can afford to pay for the funeral, perhaps you should do so, as a final act of respect for this woman whom you once loved.

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September 5, 20130 found this helpful

In most states the spouse is responsible for funeral expenses as well as all bills the person has left behind. Only 14 years together? If your wife were a millionaire, what if her family said you all had only been together 14 years so really that isn't long enough for him to get anything. This was your wife.

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September 24, 20130 found this helpful

Yes, some state the spouse is responsibility, and also you can donate the body to science and it want cost you a thing or you can just have the body burned and throw the ashes to the wind. Since you have been seperated for so long there may not be anything legally that ties you to her, her family can go half with you on the funeral, and I will check and see if there was an insurance policy!

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July 6, 2010 Flag
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Who's responsible for a funeral when there is a spouse?

By Linda

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July 6, 20100 found this helpful

I would think the spouse would be responsible. I don't know who else it would be.

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Anonymous Flag
July 7, 20100 found this helpful

The spouse unless someone else volunteers.

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July 7, 20100 found this helpful

The spouse is. It is a debt just like any other. But by the same token, the funeral can be as simple as can be afforded. No one should make the arrangements except the one paying the bills.

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July 8, 20100 found this helpful

I agree that the spouse would be; when you're married, his debt is her debt and the other way around unless some sort of legal agreement ( like a pre-nup) was in place at the time of the marriage that specifically stated otherwise and was agreed to by both parties.

The only other monkey wrench in the machinery may be if they were legally separated when the other died, or the surviving spouse left to live in a different location a long time ago and there was never a legal separation or divorce. In that case, the family's best bet is to contact an attorney.

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October 25, 2012 Flag
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If two people are not married who is legally responsible for funeral costs and medical bills?

By Norma

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October 25, 20120 found this helpful

I think the funeral director will ask who will be responsible for the cost. They don't take care of business first and then ask who is to pay after. Best bet is to call a funeral home and ask how payment is handled for funeral costs. They would have the answers.

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October 26, 20120 found this helpful

Unless you have paper work drawn up, the information will be requested of your family...legal family. Get some power of att and executor work done at the lawyers. You might end up with a pauper's funeral or cremation when you want something else.

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November 16, 2013 Flag
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My partner left his wife and came to live with me. We were together for 2 years. He never divorced is wife and he has now died. I've been told that his wife is the next of kin so she has to arrange the funeral and handle the cost. Is this right?

By Luela from Lancashire

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November 17, 20130 found this helpful

I would think that would be right, but then on other hand if she is resentful of the situation she might not be inclined to do so. That being said I would never admit to having a married man live with me. If his wife doesn't do the funeral and you don't want to do it, turn him over to the country as being indigent. Unless he has a bunch of money in savings and you can get to it, in which case use that. You aren't really entitled to have anything of his other than what you purchased together. Did he have a will and did he by any chance have pre-made funeral plans.

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July 6, 2010 Flag
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My mother passed away Aug 9th, 2009. She was married and her husband (my step-father) did not show up to make the funeral arrangements. My question is, if you are married and something like this happens can the legal spouse be held responsible and be made to pay for the funeral arrangements?

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