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If your spouse died would you ask their relatives to contribute towards funeral costs

(35 Posts)
peridito Wed 18-Nov-20 16:04:31

In a recent conversation with my sil I got the impression that she was letting me off contributing towards the cost of his impending funeral .

She said that she had paid the bill in full and that I needn't worry about this .I was very taken aback by this and said something along the lines of "Oh ,are you sure that's ok ? " And she said "It's ok ,the money is there "

She and my brother are not at all hard up ,just before my brothers death she explained to me that she brought a large portfolio of shares (built up by her stockbroker dad ) to the marriage but my brother brought practically nothing .

Is it the done thing in some circles for funeral costs to be shared between relatives of a spouse ?

OP’s posts: |
Mintjulia Wed 18-Nov-20 16:08:20

The funeral costs should come out of the estate so your SIL is probably letting you know the estate owes her for the costs.

If she wants the money refunded, she needs to send the invoice to the executors.

Viviennemary Wed 18-Nov-20 16:11:04

No. Unless a spouse was extremely hard up they wouldn't ask for help from other relatives.

lyralalala Wed 18-Nov-20 16:12:39

Are you sure she wasn't just reassuring you that your brother had the money for his funeral? A lot of people worry about funeral costs and in families it can be a worry if they have enough or if the spouse/children/organiser is going to struggle.

ThePlantsitter Wed 18-Nov-20 16:15:06

People say weird stuff when they're grieving. Maybe it was something that had been playing on her mind and she was relieved it was sorted out or something.

I don't think it's usual for extended family to pay but if someone was skint and asked me I would help out if I could.

Dyrne Wed 18-Nov-20 16:16:15

It depends - if there’s money in the estate I would assume that the spouse would cover the costs and it would be sorted out that way. If I were left anything in the Will I’d expect the cost of the funeral would be deducted before my “share”. If there was no money left or the widow(er) was struggling financially I’d be much more likely to pay towards it.

My family are traditionally very frugal though - funerals are more a simple cremation followed by tea and sandwiches (though that’s often expensive enough!). I’m not sure how much I’d be willing to pay towards for anything beyond the basics.

tara66 Wed 18-Nov-20 16:28:10

The deceased person's estate pays for their own funeral.

Pickypolly Wed 18-Nov-20 16:34:59

I ended up paying a big chunk of my mils wake after her funeral as they needed paying straight away whereas the funeral directors were happy to wait for the money to be released from the savings plan she had secretly taken out.

My husbands family had not two pennies to rub together but mil specified where she wanted her wake to be, I had some savings and so I gave it all to my husband to pay for it.

I got it back eventually.
Had it not been for mil secretly squirrelling away these few quid each month towards her funeral, I would probably have ended up footing the whole bill.
You help out where and if you can don’t you.

Sceptre86 Wed 18-Nov-20 17:06:25

If dh passed I would expect to pay for his funeral out of any savings he had. Hopefully he will have some by then. If not, I would pay. If I was not in a position to pay I would expect my son or daughter to help.

HotSince63 Wed 18-Nov-20 17:08:00

That's weird.

Are they married?

BiddyPop Wed 18-Nov-20 17:45:55

Never heard of it.

BiddyPop Wed 18-Nov-20 17:48:23

And I would fully expect to pay what needed paying urgently upfront myself, from my savings, and recoup it from his estate as that got sorted. And pay some from the estate directly as it got organised.

IceCreamAndCandyfloss Wed 18-Nov-20 18:19:15

Not everyone has an estate to cover costs,

Surely this is something to discuss as a family? Most pay as a family rather than expecting one person to pay it all

lifestooshort123 Wed 18-Nov-20 19:03:43

Most pay as a family rather than expecting one person to pay it all

This may apply in some cultures but I've never come across it. If the deceased had no funds then their spouse/partner would pay. If their coffers were empty as well then the children of the deceased would hopefully offer. 'Funds' includes money in a property which could be used via a bank loan. It's usually the next of kin's responsibility to pay or find the money. I can't see having a whip round being the norm.

LethargicLumpOfLockdownLard Wed 18-Nov-20 19:08:54

I paid for my Mum's funeral last year as my stepdad couldn't afford it and Mum had no estate. My siblings couldn't afford to help, my step brother offered but I didn't feel she should be expected to contribute (he can pay for his Dad's when the time comes!) Was 'only' £1k though.

peridito Thu 19-Nov-20 09:02:26

I think as lyralalala has said ,sil ,was just emphasising that there was sufficient funds to cover costs .

Thanks to all for comments .

Death /grieving is complicated isn't it ?
flowers to others who've lost loved ones .

OP’s posts: |
Dyrne Thu 19-Nov-20 11:04:18

Sorry for your loss OP flowers

If anyone is struggling with how to pay for this sort of thing there is sometimes help:

Some people think you can only get a no-frills cremation with no mourners but you can get support towards the cost of the actual funeral as well.

hoitytoit Thu 19-Nov-20 11:15:27

No because the estate would surely pay for it...and I would hope that most ppl have some sort of life insurance payout or cover or a least funeral cover etc

Pickypolly Thu 19-Nov-20 12:01:23

I know that my fil has absolutely nothing in place & it will be dh & his brother who will have to find the money to pay for it.
He COULD be starting a plan, but chooses not to because “I’ll be dead, I won’t be bothered”.
So it will be straight to the crem from the mortuary, ashes in a cardboard box and in with poor mil who did have a secret funeral savings plan, secret from him.

TheStripes Thu 19-Nov-20 12:09:34

I’m sorry about your brother. flowers

I wonder whether other family members or friends had asked if there was enough money to cover costs, so she was preempting any possibility of you asking.

peridito Thu 19-Nov-20 14:01:17

I think finances are an important consideration to my SIL .I know they are to us all but money ,and how much she has ( a lot ) is frequently a topic of conversation for her ,where it wouldn't be for me .

I'm saddened again now because today I've learned through another source that a celebration of his life is being planned for the New Year .It is in connection with an organisation they were/are v involved in so perhaps the thinking is that it doesn't involve his relatives .

But it would have been nice if it had been mentioned to us.We can't all make the v brief service that is to be held and I was wondering about a semi formal event next year . Though with the weather and Covid I would have planned later in the year ,maybe the anniversary of his death .

I sort of get the impression that my SIL thinks his death only affects her . Oh well .

OP’s posts: |
NoSquirrels Thu 19-Nov-20 14:08:02

I’m sorry for your loss, peridito.

Can’t you ask your SIL if there is a memorial or celebration planned next year? I’d say I’d been wondering if the family could plan something and see what she says.

If the loss is very recent it’s hard to manage the flow of information and any plans will be at such early stages I am sure it’s not that you’re being excluded deliberately.

Be kind to yourself. flowers

Berthatydfil Thu 19-Nov-20 14:31:37

I think it is becoming a thing - funerals can be expensive and people may not have savings let alone £5k put aside for their funeral. I have noticed a few crowd funding type things for funerals on Facebook etc.
I can understand if the person /their family were struggling financially but at least one I saw was (very sad sudden death as they were only 50 ish) a person in a fairly senior role in an organisation with a very generous widows pension and death in service payment lump sum which would have been 6 figures so I was a bit surprised to see that.

peridito Fri 20-Nov-20 10:28:49

Thanks NoSquirrels ,yes a lot going on .

As you say hard to manage the flow of information .

OP’s posts: |
RufustheSniggeringReindeer Fri 20-Nov-20 10:45:53

Fil has funeral cover...I don’t know about my dad

I do know someone who needed to do a go fund me....dreadfully sad

It is a concern for many people

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