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  1. #1
    tdclark Guest

    Who pays for the funeral?

    What is the name of your state? Pennsylvania

    Family members, ( 4 siblings and a grandchild age 23) agreed on a one day showing of my father. We all believed his death benefits from the company he had retired from would cover the expenses. The beneficiary of the death benefits turn out to be the grandchild and a neighbor of my fathers. The granddaughter needs the money to pay for school and says she will not give any up for the funeral expenses. Can she do this or does the money have to go to pay off expenses first. Everything was done verbally, except that her mother sign the documents of agreement with the funeral director.
  2. #2
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Who pays for the funeral?

    Originally posted by tdclark
    What is the name of your state? Pennsylvania

    Family members, ( 4 siblings and a grandchild age 23) agreed on a one day showing of my father. We all believed his death benefits from the company he had retired from would cover the expenses. The beneficiary of the death benefits turn out to be the grandchild and a neighbor of my fathers. The granddaughter needs the money to pay for school and says she will not give any up for the funeral expenses. Can she do this or does the money have to go to pay off expenses first. Everything was done verbally, except that her mother sign the documents of agreement with the funeral director.

    My response:

    Momma Bear is the only person on the hook. Everyone else can pay IF they want to. And guess what? They don't.

    IAAL
  3. #3
    Dandy Don is offline Senior Member
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    If mother is smart, she will persuade/convince daughter to use part or all of the money to help pay the funeral bill.

    You didn't mention whether the decedent left a will and whether it is being probated in court. If he did have a will, then the funeral bill can be submitted to the executor for payment using estate monies if there are any.

    Are the 4 siblings so poor that they could not afford to chip in individually to pay off the funeral debt if need be?
  4. #4
    RandyL712 Guest
    You should quickly look up the statutes for PA. In CO, there are very clear laws regarding how estate moneys are to be distributed. It's something like Taxes, Lawyers, Funeral, Medical, and if there's anything left, Beneficiaries.
  5. #5
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Originally posted by RandyL712
    You should quickly look up the statutes for PA. In CO, there are very clear laws regarding how estate moneys are to be distributed. It's something like Taxes, Lawyers, Funeral, Medical, and if there's anything left, Beneficiaries.

    My response:

    Randy, apparently you didn't read the writer's post carefully - - or, you don't understand Life Insurance beneficiaries viz-a-viz an Estate. The money that the grandchild and the neighbor received do not go to the Estate. As a matter of fact, that insurance money bypasses the Estate altogether. Neither of those beneficiaries have any duty, responsibility or liability to Momma Bear. Anything they might contribute to the funeral expense is strictly voluntary.

    IAAL
  6. #6
    RandyL712 Guest
    I understand that in regards to life insurance. I was referring to the fact that the "grandchild and neighbor" who ARE the beneficiaries aren't in control of the money. Law may dictate that the funeral expenses be paid before they get their share.
  7. #7
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Originally posted by RandyL712
    I understand that in regards to life insurance. I was referring to the fact that the "grandchild and neighbor" who ARE the beneficiaries aren't in control of the money. Law may dictate that the funeral expenses be paid before they get their share.

    My response:

    Apparently, you don't "understand" Life insurance, and how it works. The money under the policy NEVER made it to the Estate to begin with. The money is sent by the insurance company DIRECTLY to the chosen beneficiaries because the money was NOT the property of the decedent. There cannot be ANY law that dictates to a gift recipient how that "gift" is to be spent. In order for a "law" to have any "teeth", the law MUST have control over a person AND the money. Since the money NEVER went to the Estate, there is no "law" that has control over that money, or the recipients. I defy you to find ANY law, from ANY jurisdiction that would say otherwise.

    IAAL
  8. #8
    RandyL712 Guest
    If it's life insurance, it bypasses the estate and tax, and goes directly to the beneficiaries. Estate funds are handled as I mentioned previously. I apologize for the confusion.
  9. #9
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Who pays for funeral expenses?

    Originally posted by tdclark
    Apparently I left some things out. The money came from a death benefit issued by the former employer. Even though I am unemployed for about a year now I told the siblings I would pitch in if need be, unforntunately the other three do not want to split with their money. There is no will that anyone can find and he left an old trailer on a rented lot with lots of bills.

    My response:

    Your "new" facts are of no value. My responses stay the same. However, HAD this been a "Community Property" State, my responses would have been more in line with Randy. But, since Pennsylvania is a "separate property" State, the decedent had a right to name whomever he wanted as beneficiaries. As such, the beneficiaries DO NOT have to share their financial windfall with anyone.

    If the decedent wanted the money to go to his eventual funeral expenses, he would have stated as much, or he would have named his wife as the beneficiary, OR he would have named his Estate as the beneficiary.

    Since the decedent failed to do anything; e.g., a Will, or naming the "proper" beneficiary, Momma Bear stands to lose because she's the one who signed the funeral contract. So, unless certain people feel very generous, Momma Bear can do nothing. He had a right to spend his money, and name any beneficiary, as he wanted.

    IAAL

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