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to wonder why death can bring out the worst in some people?

(56 Posts)
GnocchiNineDoors Fri 20-Jul-12 22:29:18

Or is it grief clouding their usual self?

BIL has very recently lost his mother. She has been ill for some time and has sadly passed away. He is one of four siblings (has one brother, two sisters) and his sisters have spoken to and planned their mother's funeral without informing him that the discussions / arrangements were being sorted.

They have contacted him and SIL (My DH's sister and her DH) and told him that they have made all of the arrangements and they need him to give them two thousand pounds towards the funeral.

BILs mother, brother and both of his sisters are / were unemployed and their has been a government grant towards the funeral of £1400, however they have been told by the Undertaker that the basic minimum cost for a funeral (cremation) is £4000 and the 2k short they have asked BIL for is the deposit needed.

BIL is employed, though is supporting a wife and four children so money is, of course, not readily avaliable. The Undertaker has informed them that they can have an 'account' of sorts which they can pay off the total sum within one year.

BILs siblings have demanded that he gives them 2k within a week as this is apparently a deposit which is required to book and go ahead with the funeral and they are apparently furious with him that he wasn;t involved with any of the planning which he was totally unaware was happening.

SIL and the sisters have had cross words and she and I were discussing tonight how they have suddenly become so agressive and demanding and while I have total sympathy at the loss of their mother, I think this negativity and anger is overshaddowing her death and tainting this already sad time.

The siblings have said that as BIL is the only one working, he should meet the costs of their mother's funeral himself and as they are are on benefits, their contribution is the governemtn grant given.

They haven't even offered to pay £5....£1....50p a week towards it.

I am so angry on BIL and SILs behalf and they are stuck not knowing what to do: risk resentment and family rifts or take on debts to cover the costs?

SoleSource Fri 20-Jul-12 22:32:28

They say you do get to see people's true colours where there is £ involved. I think it is true.

As for why? It can depend on a lot of factors but mainly because they're mean , cannot afford it or cannot face up to the loss, do not feel obligated, can of worms. All the best.

molepom Fri 20-Jul-12 22:33:37

All siblings need to help with the cost of the was their mother.

The anger I would put down to grief.

The government grant is a little bit more that doesnt need paying but all members of the immidiate family need to contribute, working or not. Just £2 a week, anything.

Anonymumous Fri 20-Jul-12 22:35:34

He should pay £1000 as his quarter-share and the others can pay off the account over the next year if necessary. I don't see why he should be expected to fork out more just because he is employed, especially when he has four children to provide for.

GnocchiNineDoors Fri 20-Jul-12 22:36:34

Exactly. Quarter the total costs of the wedding and he is responsible for that amount. They agree. Trouble is, the siblings don;t and im not really sure where they stand with that.

joanofarchitrave Fri 20-Jul-12 22:39:18

I wonder if he could ring them and say that the £4K minimum is a lot, and offer to ring round a few other undertakers?

I do sympathise very much with him and you all, but he surely must have wondered about funeral planning and who was going to do it? - didn't he talk to his sisters?

My basic feeling is that it's perfectly possible to do a funeral for less than £4K, although obviously it might not be a funeral that they'd prefer. But if they want him to pay for it, he should get a say.

Ripeberry Fri 20-Jul-12 22:41:48

Greedy undertakers. Why not just bury in the compost heap? It maybe their only savings. Even dying costs money! I wouldn't mind being chucked on the compost heap if it saved my relatives a few pennies. It's just a body in the end.

My dad had to pay out every last penny of his savings to bury my mum and that is after she spent their nest egg just before passing away. So yeah he was left penniless by the greedy undertakers.

GnocchiNineDoors Fri 20-Jul-12 22:42:26

He did expect to have some arranging to do, however they seemed to have it all done within a day or two and contacted him regarding the money before he could speak to them about it.

He is a very introverted quiet man who buries things deep and has totally gone into his shell since his mother's death. I think he needed a few days to get his head around the whole thing and within that time they had gone and done what needed to be done.

I may even suggest that he looks around for some alternative prices and even that it may be worth him ringing the Funeral Director and saying "can I pay my share" and just leaving it at that.

Islagiatt Fri 20-Jul-12 22:43:14

There was a programme on Ch4 recently about the Co-Op Funeral Care and the fact that there is a 'basic' funeral package available and the funeral homes are actually obliged to tell people this, but they often don't. Can't remember what it was called - something like a 'basic package' and wracks ageing brain think was about £500 rather than the starting price of 2-3 thousand!

Ripeberry Fri 20-Jul-12 22:43:18

Moral of the story? Take out funeral insurance NOW!!

GnocchiNineDoors Fri 20-Jul-12 22:43:48

I know Ripe. Put me in a cardboard box and be done with it, I say.

MIL said we are apparently to just leave her where we find her. Let the council deal with her and deny all family ties. Sounds hard and we wounldn't be able to bear doing it but she has a point.

storytopper Fri 20-Jul-12 22:52:15

I just did a quick Google of funeral costs and I think £4000 is expensive for a basic funeral. If nothing has been signed yet they should look around.

Your BIL's siblings are very cheeky expecting him to pay most of the cost, especially as he has had no say in the arrangements. Not unusual though - same thing happened to a family friend. He had retired early from a "good" job so his siblings expected him to pay for the whole funeral from his pension.

The kindest thing anyone can do for their family is to leave enough money for their funeral and instructions about the kind of funeral they would like to have.

GnocchiNineDoors Fri 20-Jul-12 22:58:39

We were all astounded at the cost and agree that he needs to look for alternatives and get some quotes. 4k to lay a body to rest is frankly a ridiculous amount.

He told his sisters to forget about booking cars (apart from the hearse) and they said they hadn't got them on the list, so what the hell the money is going towards I don;t know.

With it being a cremation, there are some extra 'doctor' costs included but what these costs are for, I do not know.

Whatdoiknowanyway Fri 20-Jul-12 22:59:21

That's expensive. My dad's funeral was much less than that. You don't actually need expenive coffins, flowers, cars. We had the hearse, a decent coffin and one floral tribute - Dad would have hated the waste of spending more. We used our own cars. You don't have to spend a lot of money to mourn.

JeezyPeeps Fri 20-Jul-12 23:02:30

Umm quarter the costs for the wedding?

That's an odd mistake to make.

Funeral costs are usually taken out of the estate. Has the deceased left enough to pay for the 'wedding'?

GnocchiNineDoors Fri 20-Jul-12 23:04:52

Sorry, I am in the middle of a text convo with a friend about her wedding blush I am sorry for the error.

Sadly the deceased has no estate. She was a single woman, in concil rented home in receipt of disability and with no savings.

TrinityIsAFuckingRhino Fri 20-Jul-12 23:07:09

That is not the cost of a basic funeral.

Flimflammery Fri 20-Jul-12 23:08:14

It definitely doesn't need to cost 4k. My mother had a simple but dignified church funeral and cremation and it didn't cost anything like that. Maybe they are paying to have her embalmed so the body can be viewed? That would cost extra. Coffins vary in price from simple to very expensive. He should ask for a breakdown of the cost.

wonkylegs Fri 20-Jul-12 23:11:46

See here for guide to funeral costs
If they want him to contribute he should be getting a full breakdown of what he's paying for. Agree that it should be split fairly, if he wishes to offer more that's his choice but forced 'contributions' are not on.

albertswearengen Fri 20-Jul-12 23:20:31

Unfortunately sibling rivalry often rears its ugly head when parents die. It doesn't even seem to matter how elderly the siblings are. As soon as money or possessions are involved all those years of pent up feelings and resentments are often exposed.
He should agree to a fair split of the costs and then if he wishes to pay more off later on it's up to him.

thebetachimp Fri 20-Jul-12 23:21:47

Did your BIL's mother have any money in a bank account? If so, her personal representatives (i.e. the Executors named in her Will, or her next of kin if she didn't have a Will) can ask the bank to release the money to pay for her funeral.

The banks are not obliged to release the money to pay for the funeral, but in my experience (I am a solicitor specialising in probate), they always do.

In any event, your BIL should be reimbursed for any funeral costs that he has paid out of his mother's estate.

thebetachimp Fri 20-Jul-12 23:22:36

Sorry, I missed post about Deceased not having any estate.

storytopper Fri 20-Jul-12 23:26:59

Because cremation is very final in terms of destroying the body compared with a burial (where it could be exhumed later if necessary), it is a requirement to have a second doctor not known to the deceased to counter-sign the certificate - i.e. to confirm that the death was not caused by anything illegal. This is what happens in Scotland - presumably the same in England. That should only cost about £200 or so, though - shouldn't raise total costs very much.

carernotasaint Fri 20-Jul-12 23:30:19

My parents who are in their seventies have been talking for the past year or so about what they want when their time comes. However they refuse to discuss it with my DB because he finds it too hurtful to discuss and his feelings must be protected at all costs. (catholic italian upbringing where the male childs feelings must be protected at all costs) the one time my DM tried to discuss it with my DB he stormed out of the room refusing to engage.
Anyhow last weekend they showed me the plots theyd purchased (sorry if thats not the right word) and they didnt do this until DB had left.
my DH has said he should fucking grow a pair and i agree but the reason DB takes this attitude is because hes been enabled to. Last weekend my parents told me where the papers are going to be in their house so i can find them should i need to.
DH has basically said that as its all being basically left to me that he had better not hear any fucking moaning from DB when the time comes.

carernotasaint Fri 20-Jul-12 23:32:25

As in if DB doesnt want to discuss it and arrangements are left to me that hed better not moan about anything i organise. Thats what DH meant.

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