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Oh God, this is possibly going to get me the biggest flaming ever but I really don't know if I am BU or not...

(143 Posts)
MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 25-Mar-13 10:50:06

Last year, I started paying in to a life insurance policy that will pay out a lump sum to DH/DS in the event of my death. My mum was asking what had prompted me to take out such a thing (she thinks that planning for when you are not here is morbid, especially at my age) and I said the normal things... to leave DH/DS with some money to to with whatever they choose, to pay for my funeral...

My mum goes "I've got nothing to leave for my funeral" I said "Well maybe you should think about setting one up too? It only needs to be about a tenner a month, maybe even less" She went "Mmmmm... nah."

Obviously, I really, really don't want to think about my mum dying but it IS going to happen at some point sad If the absolute worst were to happen in the near future, I would have no money to pay for her funeral costs. I really thought that most normal people paid for their funeral costs via life insurance/savings etc? I know all of my grandparents did, MIL has cover set up. I don't know what my mum is expecting of me, though. I made a vague noise of concern about it and she went "Ha ha just roll me in a rug and chuck me in a river! That'll be fine with me" I really think that she thinks that there will be some kind of budget option of funeral that will cost me £50. I really don't want to press her on this as it's grim.


ChazsBrilliantAttitude Mon 25-Mar-13 11:07:35

If it is likely that there will be sufficient funds in the estate to cover the funeral then I would leave the issue for now. My Dad didn't have a funeral plan but the family house was mortgage free and he was able to live at home up to his death so there was always going to be enough to cover his funeral.

If not then you might want to gentle point out the cost to her. It sounds a bit like she doesn't want to consider the possibility of dying so is making a joke rather than taking it seriously.

SarahBumBarer Mon 25-Mar-13 11:08:41

There used to be a funeral benefit too that you could apply for from the Govt if you got certain benefits. Not sure if that still exists.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 25-Mar-13 11:09:40

I think that even if you donate your body to research, once they have finished with it, the remains are returned to the next of kin for a funeral.

FloatyBeatie Mon 25-Mar-13 11:10:18

If that still exists, Sarah, I bet that govt employees routinely assess corpses as "fit to work" so that they don't quality.

CambridgeBlue Mon 25-Mar-13 11:11:13

I don't think you're BU to wonder about this because it will be you who has to find the money when the time comes unless things change. But I can see why it makes you uncomfortable.

Slight hijack but how does leaving a body to research actually work? My DF (who is pretty eccentric) has no property or money to speak of but claims he is planning to do this. Will whoever he is offering himself to actually want his body with no prior consultation? Surely more people would do it if there's no/minimal cost involved? Like the OP I hate thinking about this but possibly better now than when he's not around sad

AmberLeaf Mon 25-Mar-13 11:11:43


You will have enough on your plate when your Mum dies, without having to worry about paying for her funeral.

I know my Mum has some sort of plan in place for hers.

maybe suggest she dontates her body to research so you wont have to pay for her funeral

In theory yes, but sometimes they don't want you in the event of your death!

My Grandmother left her body to medical science, but as she had MRSA and C-dif when she died, they declined!

BlackMaryJanes Mon 25-Mar-13 11:12:45

can i ask what happens if someone dies leaving nothing and the family just refuse to pay anything or take out any sort of payment plan thing for a funeral? what happens to the body?

I too would like to know. I'm NC with my mother and there's no way in hell I'm paying for her funeral when she pops her cloggs.

worldgonecrazy Mon 25-Mar-13 11:15:56

Very sensible to plan, but I'm not sure a policy is the right way to go (depending on the age of your mum). Many policies pay out very little, often less than is put in once inflation has been taken into account. You may be better encouraging your mum to put a tenner away in a bank account each week/month.

Your mum may be shocked at how much a funeral actually costs. At a push a cheapo version would be around £1,500, but you're more likely to be looking at over £2-£3K.

DorcasDelIcatessen Mon 25-Mar-13 11:16:55

My uncle died suddenly in August last year. He was penniless. My cousin was given a small grant for about £600 from the government, the rest had to be scraped together with donations from his nieces and nephews. It was a very very basic service and we felt so guilty but we are all struggling financially. The thing that really hurt was hearing my own mother sneering at the "paupers send-off" but her and her two surviving brothers didn't contribute a thing towards it. (My mum had just returned from a fortnight in the sun). My uncle was an ex heroin addict and heavy drinker and smoker. The last thing on his mind was saving for his own funeral. Just wish his siblings would have stepped up for their brother. Unless my mum changes her selfish ways then this will be a reality for me in the future too. sad

Awomansworth Mon 25-Mar-13 11:18:29

YANBU - When my mum died suddenly aged 64, there was just about enough money in my parents joint account to cover the funeral (3K). Then there was the headstone at 2K.

My siblings and I decided to leave DF with his money and split the costs between ourselves, however two of my siblings just couldn't afford it so the remaining 3 covered the cost.

The first thing I did when I felt able was to set up a funeral plan to cover the cost of DF funeral, we paid this over 3 years and each sibling contributed the same small amount each month until it was paid.

Not only do we now have peace of mind when the time comes, it only cost each of us £20 per month (5 children) over 3 years, which was not a great hardship for any of us. We have insurances in place for both DH and me.

Losing a parent is hard enough without the added financial strain this brings on the remaining family. I think we owe it those we would be leaving behind to have things in place to ease the burden for them.

LondonNinja Mon 25-Mar-13 11:20:15

She's being a little naive, OP. And YANBU.

It isn't nice to plan wills and funeral costs etc but it's less nice to leave that to grieving family, methinks!

OnTheBottomWithAWomansWeekly Mon 25-Mar-13 11:21:05

OP, if insurance in the UK works like in Ireland, you have an insurable interest on your mother for the amount of the potential liability (if you are the one definitely going to be paying the expense).

So if she refuses to pay for a plan herself, (i.e. if it's the payment she is baulking at) you could take out a policy that you will pay for on her life.
The proceeds would be payable to you (tax free) as it would be a payout from a policy that you own. You would then use the proceeds to pay her funeral expenses.

Or, she can take out a plan on her own life but you could pay the premium. The premium payment might be considered a gift from you to her (but there may be a small gift exemption - I'm not familiar with UK tax law). The proceeds would be payable into her estate, and the executor of the estate could then use them to pay the funeral expenses.

Personally, I have a lot of lifecover because I work in insurance, and as my DF was parish secretary before he retired, I know what funerals can cost.

I'd never dream of leaving DD to pay for it all - but it's easy for me to think about because I come across the concept in my day to day work and it's not very emotive for me.

Your mum may be feeling her mortality and may just not want to deal with it, and that's why she's not considering putting insurance in place.

Perhaps if you go to her with something ready to go, which just needs a couple of signatures, and you present it as something that will give you peace of mind, then she might consider it?

DorcasDelIcatessen Mon 25-Mar-13 11:21:21

can i ask what happens if someone dies leaving nothing and the family just refuse to pay anything or take out any sort of payment plan thing for a funeral? what happens to the body?

Very brief cremation that keeps with the deceased beliefs with a cheap coffin. No service, no flowers, no prayers or hymns, just a few words spoken by the person performing the service. The ashes are put into a plastic lined cardboard box and kept for a year if not claimed.

Floggingmolly Mon 25-Mar-13 11:24:37

Very selfish of her; but unfortunately you now know you'll be handed the bill somewhere down the line, so you'll have to sort some kind of funeral plan yourself sad

EmmelineGoulden Mon 25-Mar-13 11:24:53

I think if people didn't take out insurance policies to cover a big send off there would be more affordable options. Funerals are for the living not the dead. Your mum isn't being unreasonable in not caring what happens to her body after death.

I don't think you deserve flaming - what for? But I think YABU to think she ought to have the same values as you over this.

EggyFucker Mon 25-Mar-13 11:25:56

Average funeral costs for a fairly no-frills cremation is 3k

Usually, funeral directors will wait for payment until an estate is settled

This happened to us this year...the funeral costs were taken off the top before the rest of the estate was shared among the beneficiaries of a will

has she even made a will ?

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Mon 25-Mar-13 11:32:02

But the OP and her family will have to pay for the funeral which may be a financial struggle for them. Surely her DM should care about what happens to them after her death?

FakeHotCrossLobsters Mon 25-Mar-13 11:32:55

"The money will come from her before her death or it will come from her estate after her death."

Well it's not going to come from Marmalade's mother before her death, because Marmalade has already told us she won't discuss it and doesn't see the need to plan for it.

And afterwards, what if there is no estate and no equity? What if she has no savings to speak of, no property to sell and a piggy bang that only has 10p and a button in it?

Marmalade will be expected to pay, because she can't chuck her mother in the river and I doubt she's want to turn her mother over to the local authority. She's feel responsible and she shouldn't be.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 25-Mar-13 11:33:18


You beat me to it. Most funeral directors have an interest free period whilst the estate is being settled. They understand this takes time and that relatives don't always have the funds. My Dad was the last of my parents to die, and we paid from his estate. I think his and Mums were around 2k each but this was 5 years ago now.

OP, it sounds like your mum is scared and maybe a bit superstitious in her belief. At least she has expressed wishes for no fuss and frills, which will save her estate some money. It does sound slightly unreasonable, but its obviously the way she is and I think it would be unreasonable to push her on this as it won't make her change her mind.

mrsbungle Mon 25-Mar-13 11:34:39

My mum died 12 weeks after finding out she had cancer aged 54. She had a life insurance policy that went to my brother and me to leave us with a bit of money. She didn't have anything else. About £ 600 in her bank.

My brother and me paid for the funeral (although we have a step dad who has plenty of money but since he was enraged that the only provision she had left was a life insurance policy for us, we paid for it). It cost £5K including the headstone and burial.

Extortionate. If we hadn't had that policy, I am not sure where my brother and me would have magicked up £2.5K each from.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 25-Mar-13 11:38:09

She has no estate. She is renting her home and has no real savings. She is careful with her money in that she spends wisely what she earns and isn't in any debt but she has not saved any money to leave to anyone in the event of her death (which I don't care about) or to cover her funeral.

It looks like it will be down to me to start saving (how grim!)

LazyMonkeyButler Mon 25-Mar-13 11:38:14

YANBU, I adjusted my own life assurance policy (as did DH) after seeing the cost of my mum's funeral last year. A bereavement is awful enough, the last thing I'd want is my DCs worrying how to pay for my funeral aswell.

If she has no money anywhere & no savings/policies etc. it is not a bad idea for her to have a life assurance plan.

EmmelineGoulden Mon 25-Mar-13 11:40:45

Chazs the OP does not have to pay for her mothers funeral.

Dolallytats Mon 25-Mar-13 11:41:08

This is something me an DH have been thinking abut since his mum passed away just over a year ago. She did have a funeral plan and which was approx £3000. We then had to use some of the money from her account to pay the £500 remaining. There would have been no way we could have paid for it without this plan.

I am currently pregnant with DC3 and as soon as we have all the large baby bits bought, we will be setting up plans so our children don't have to worry. We can not afford life insurance of any kind (which does worry me), but we are hoping this at least will help when the time comes.

GlaikitHasHerFizzBack Mon 25-Mar-13 11:43:24

Who will then emmeline? A serious question.

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