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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.


MarmaladeTwatkins Tue 26-Mar-13 21:17:51

"Wouldn't she do a whole 'shaking and crying' performance like a twatty mumsnetter on a thread about birthday cakes or summat."


Yes. Yes she would grin

Also LOL at Hully's suggestion of a Twatter's mum Thriller reconstruction.

myBOYSareBONKERS Tue 26-Mar-13 21:16:07

My Dad recently died and he had a burial.

It cost nearly £6000. Just to dig the hole was £1000 !! The reception after was £1000.

There were things we could of cut down on (no car/flowers/reception/obituary/embalming etc) but we were NOT extravagant in any way

SolidGoldBrass Tue 26-Mar-13 20:37:43

I am 48 and have no money, no savings, fuck all to leave. I will not be putting cash into a funeral plan as I can't afford to, so I think I will write a will telling whoever else is left to disown me and refuse to pay - I don't see why they should lose several thousand pounds.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Tue 26-Mar-13 18:38:31

Have read the first 4 pages.

Both my parents died before their 56th birthday - one after long illness and one very suddenly and unexpectedly.

I think you need to talk to your mum about this. Tell her that it's really worrying you and that you know it's upsetting to think about. Tell her that you want to respect her wishes and that she needs to tell you what those wishes are.

When she talks about being rolled in a carpet etc just come back with the fact that you can't do that and you need to plan an alternative. If she suggests medical donation, tell her that there may have to be alternative arrangements regarding disposal afterwards or her body being rejected (put it nicely). So what alternative does she want?

If she says a pauper's funeral, explain what that would really mean and what costs would be involved etc etc

Use the 'relentlessly reasonable' approach along with telling her that you will be grieving and it would be comforting to know that you had made these decisions together.

Now you know what funerals cost, you can brinng this into the discussion and tell her that you could both start paying into a savings account together.

If/when the account exceeds the amount needed - you could use the extra to have some mother-daughter treats.

If she sees how it's worrying you, surely you can work it out together (or I have a very warped idea of what the relationship between parent-child is when the child is an adult - see my second sentence for details smile)

FakeHotCrossLobsters Tue 26-Mar-13 18:12:54

I'm sure I remember hearing a story about a man who wanted to bury his wife in the back garden but his neighbours objected so permission was denied.

His wife was dead by the way.

And so he had her embalmed or stuffed or something and sat her in the window that looked out over the neighbours garden.

I would swear on my life that's a true story I heard, but if it's not it should be.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Mar-13 17:18:55

I agree with others - regardless of what you say I think she is not going to see it as her issue at all. Something for others to sort out.

Personally I wouldnt speak to her. She wont take out a policy so unless you want lots of upset....

However if she God forbids goes, will there really be NOTHING in her estate. Nothing at all in any bank accounts, savings, property, contents of the house etc?

TolliverGroat Tue 26-Mar-13 17:14:16

Mind you, burying Granny in your back garden will generally knock more off the resale value of your home than it would cost to perform a more conventional funeral, so the cost savings are probably illusory (unless you expect the house to be in your family for the foreseeable future).

GetOeuf Tue 26-Mar-13 17:12:05

SGB you can bury people in your back garden, but you need permission from the council to do so, and a lot of land presumably with no contamination of water sources etc.

I only know this because I have just read Alan Clark's diaries and he was buried in his back garden and it said about the council permission. Mind you he lived in a castle.

marmalade you are not unreasonable to worry but I have read enough posts about your mum to think that there is no way she would respond well to you suggesting that she puts something aside for her burial. Wouldn't she do a whole 'shaking and crying' performance like a twatty mumsnetter on a thread about birthday cakes or summat.

My FIL died just before Christmas and the cost (he was embalmed as well as his coffin was at home before the funeral) was just shy of 5 grand. And it wasn't at all a grandiose funeral. I was surprised at the expense.

MummytoMog Tue 26-Mar-13 17:06:23

She is BU. Mind you, my dad took out an insurance policy to pay for his funeral, and it only provided about a grand. Then some other people helped pay for it, and the bank provided a bit (there was a life insurance policy attached to his bank account) and it did all get covered. Somehow, that didn't translate into my mum paying me back the £800 I had to give the undertakers up front though. Oh no. I am an endless source of cash apparently.

SolidGoldBrass Tue 26-Mar-13 16:39:45

Emmeline: Really? I thought it was definitely illegal to plant a corpse anywhere other than in an official cemetary.

Mind you, what about home cremation, anyone know? I have a vague feeling that a normal garden-size bonfire wouldn't do the trick and also that there may be health hazards...

CocktailQueen Tue 26-Mar-13 10:00:38

Hully! grin

SolidGold - 'I must admit I do think there ought to be a state-funded No Funeral option as standard ie bulk cremation' - I don't think the state is in any position to start funding new ideas! there is no money left... Plus, surely the vast majority of people have some sort of family who would want a proper funeral send off?

Hullygully Tue 26-Mar-13 08:39:26

Take an evening class in embalming and embalm her and keep her in a cupboard. Bring her out for special occasions.

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Tue 26-Mar-13 08:28:55

I'm 25 and have been paying into one since i became pregnant at 22. I wouldn't want to add any extra stress to my family.

EmmelineGoulden Tue 26-Mar-13 08:22:07

Actually, you can stick Granny in the back garden. In England it isn't illegal to bury people on private land - with the permission of the land owner and subject to a few restrictions regarding water sources. But most people won't want to.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 25-Mar-13 21:57:54

I must admit I do think there ought to be a state-funded No Funeral option as standard ie bulk cremation, because, as someone said upthread, the disposal of dead bodies is a public health issue. You can't stick Granny in the back garden or put her out with the bins. The whole business of flowers and cars and officiants (and I say this as someone who has officiated at a funeral) is not compulsory. And there are an awful lot of people - more all the time - who really don't have a spare few grand and never will have, either to pay for the disposal of a relative's body or to put aside for their own.

somethingwillturnup Mon 25-Mar-13 21:22:57

Not sure if anyone has mentioned this re. donating your body.

I am doing this. I have to sign forms saying I want to do this now - it can't be done by my next of kin after I die. IF my body is used, the remains are not returned to my family, but the University has a service each year for the people who donated. However, it could be that my body will not be able to be used, so my family will still have to have a funeral. They won't know whether or not this is the case until I die and the medical school has inspected the body, so there will have to be funds available - be that an insurance policy (which I do have) or from the estate (which I don't at the moment).

It's not grim to think about these things, it's practical. Hope you manage to sort it out.

Roseformeplease Mon 25-Mar-13 19:48:14

My FiL's funeral cost £2500 for the most basic of cremations. YANBU

cocolepew Mon 25-Mar-13 19:43:22

YANBU. My mum and dad have pre paid their funerals. The ILs are divorced, DH asked his dad if he had anything set in place,and where would we find his important paper etc when he died. His dad replied "it won't be my problem, why should I care?"

His mum is very religious and gives most of her money to the church, she also has nothing set in place. Neither have savings or own their own property. How the hell me and DH are supposed to pay for their funerals is anyones guess.

chibi Mon 25-Mar-13 19:40:34

my pil died last year within a month of each other. though they had sold their house a few years previous, and had no debts, they had no money at all. it was a bit of a shock - we assumed that they would gave even a couple of thousand put by. there was £200ish in a post office account. shock

we paid for everything, it was not lavish by any means, and it wiped out our savings.

as a result, i very timidly asked my mother if she had made any plans, she got very angry. it is not an easy subject for some people i guess.

dh and i have taken out extensive insurance so that our children/surviving spouse are not left shafted when one of us dies

Christelle2207 Mon 25-Mar-13 19:24:51

OP, YANBU, you should not have to save up though I'm sure you will if there's no other option. You need to explain to your mother abut the cost of funerals and when she realises you will be massively out of pocket hopefully she can start saving.

thegreylady Mon 25-Mar-13 19:13:12

I must upgrade mine blush it is only for £1500 and I set it up years ago.Thanks op I'll get onto it tomorrow. Dh's is even less-he has had it loner and we haven't thought about it for years.I am 69 and dh will be 77 in May!
We have no mortgage but not much in savings-oh heck!

Jux Mon 25-Mar-13 18:50:51

Hate to be awful, but she'd be dead so what sort of funeral she wants is irrelevant, as she won't be there. If her 'estate' won't cover the costs of a basic one, you can get help to pay; when the time comes - I hope it's a long way away - ask the funeral director.

Or you could tell your mum that there'd be no party, no guests, etc and she should think about it seriously.

mum47 Mon 25-Mar-13 18:46:28

OP, your mum may have no idea what a funeral costs, and it may not have actually occurred to her that it could fall to you to pay it.It might be that she does not want to contemplate her own demise - who does? - which is why she was almost flippant when you spoke about it.

It looks as though you will have to have a conversation with her - even if you end up taking out and paying for the policy. Her age at the moment is irrelevant. We could all go at any time.

RalphGnu Mon 25-Mar-13 18:40:14


When my alcoholic, penniless father died he didn't have any money. He was separated from my step-mother but as his legal next of kin she had to pay for his funeral, she could've refused but for the sake of his family she didn't. (Not that any of the family offered to help with costs).She'd just been made redundant and the majority of her redundancy settlement went into the funeral, leaving her with no job and no savings. She was screwed, basically, and it made what was an already horrendous time for her even worse.

So no, YANBU at all. I would hate to think my family would have to go into debt or be put into financial difficulty because of my funeral costs.

Maybe she'll start thinking about it a bit more now you've mentioned it, Twatters. I know it's something I hadn't really considered before this thread.

WishIdbeenatigermum Mon 25-Mar-13 18:30:20

Is there definitely no money?
It could be that she will have money to leave and she doesn't want to have the 'when I die' conversation

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