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To wonder how the heck to have this conversation?

(16 Posts)
PumpkinPie2013 Fri 09-Jan-15 12:04:58

My Nan ( we are close) is elderly and terminally ill sad

She has saved up some money (around 2K) to contribute to her funeral costs.

She doesn't 'do' banks - has a post office account but nothing else.

She has asked me to take this money and look after it until it is required - at this stage she doesn't want anyone else in the family to know about the money . I have no problem with this - I have an account I don't use where I can put it and will absolutely keep it to myself. I am pleased she feels she can trust me in this way and I will carry out her exact instructions.

Now, to the difficult part.

As she is entrusting her money to me, I would like to talk to her about what her preferences are. I have some idea but obviously it isn't something you talk about regularly. I want to make sure that I get it right for her when the time comes.

I just don't know what to say sad where do you start on something like that?

Normally, I'd speak to my other relatives but my Nan's wish is that I don't say anything about it and I need to respect that.

Any advice would be gratefully received.

desertmum Fri 09-Jan-15 12:07:48

next time you see her, could you mention that you have put the money in a safe place and does she want to talk about how she wants it spent. Then she can take the conversation forward in a way that suits her.

InfinitySeven Fri 09-Jan-15 12:08:04

I'd check into the legality of this, before you proceed.

My understanding would be that this money would be part of her estate, and other things may need to be prioritised before funeral costs. 'Hiding' this money could be seen as an attempt to bypass those payments. You may then be liable for those costs, in some circumstances.

I know this doesn't answer your question, but I'd seriously look into it.

Could you ask your Nan to note down any funeral wishes she has when she hands over the money, so you can store them together? You can ask when it's next mentioned, so you don't need to bring it up, and it's likely that she'll have some idea of what she wants, so she'll probably appreciate the chance to have her say.

redexpat Fri 09-Jan-15 12:10:02

Nan i think its wonderful that youve saved this money for your funetal. Do you have any thoughts for what sort of ceremony you might like?

LineRunner Fri 09-Jan-15 12:10:14

I think that you could initiate the conversation sensitively by assuring her that you have her money kept in a safe place as she asked, and that you feel very touched that she trusts you like this - and does she have any specific requests that she would like you to honour?

LineRunner Fri 09-Jan-15 12:11:33

Infinity, I think funeral costs have first dibs on an estate.

workingtitle Fri 09-Jan-15 12:11:34

With my grandmother (similar situation) I asked if she wanted to write things down - over time she came up with a very comprehensive 'plan' for her funeral, including readings and music she'd like. She left this for me to have after she died. If your nan is able to do this it might be a nicer pace than having to relay everything in one conversation.

Re the money, gov.uk site says: The estate doesn’t pay Inheritance Tax on up to £3,000 worth of gifts given away by the deceased in each tax year (6 April to 5 April). This is called the ‘annual exemption’
This might apply?

Jill2015 Fri 09-Jan-15 12:15:45

Probably better if she writes something down, if possible, and entrusts it to you, or to a third party, so that her wishes / preferences are respected when the time comes.

Sorry about your Nan, take care.

PumpkinPie2013 Fri 09-Jan-15 12:16:39

Thanks for all the responses and suggestions so far - I'll read them in detail later smile

With regards to her estate - she doesn't really have anything else. She is widowed, her flat is council owned and there are no debts. She is ahead with her payments for rent, gas, electricity etc. I. E she has paid more than she needs to. Is there anything else to consider? Sorry - I know that sounds stupid but I've never done this before.

Jill2015 Fri 09-Jan-15 12:16:42

X post with workingtitle.

allypally999 Fri 09-Jan-15 12:37:59

She can only "gift" £250 to an individual - the £3K is in total. She is clearly thinking of her funeral so a conversation is not going to be that hard (trust me I've had worse!).

Getting a Power of Attorney signed would be best but it will cost a few hundred. Otherwise the other relatives will not be best pleased you had no authority to take the money.

You could also pay for a funeral plan now in advance and that means you cannot be accused of hiding any money.

If still unsure ask CAB - they are very good.

Worksallhours Fri 09-Jan-15 13:25:49

allyypally is right. You can prepay for a funeral.

My DGF did this and specified exactly what arrangements he wanted. It could be a good way of approaching the subject with your nan as prepaying would prevent her funeral money being eroded by inflation (what £2k will buy today will be more than £2k in a year or so) and it prevents legal difficulties with you holding onto this money in terms of her estate.

Again, if your nan goes for a prepay, whomever she sees will talk her through what kinds of decisions she needs to make, and this might avoid a lot of those family disagreements that seem to surround funerals and inheritance issues further down the line. One very tricky issue these days is that you are no longer legally allowed to scatter ashes. Instead, they must be interred, which then begs the question of where they will be interred.

My DGF felt that prepaying and prearranging his funeral made him feel like everything was "settled", and he went to town gave a lot of thought to the arrangements. If your nan is terminally ill, it may help her to feel like she still has some control over things if she prepays and chooses the kinds of thing she wants.

Marylou62 Fri 09-Jan-15 13:35:29

I am sorry you are going through this....I had the same with MIL...I cared for her and her intimate needs...we had gentle, short conversations over her last weeks...very sad but feel privelaged to have been there for her....she also arranged to see funeral directors herself and asked me to be there...I am sending love as it is a difficult time...xxxx

Cobain Fri 09-Jan-15 13:43:32

I did pre pay, mainly due to I did not want family (certain members) questioning how much was left compared to how much was spent. We used the co-op and it may sound strange but it was quite a nice bonding experience talking about songs and meanings behind them.

girlywhirly Fri 09-Jan-15 15:42:22

If your nan has difficulty getting out to a funeral director, you can arrange a home visit. They will be able to talk her through all the options of pre paid funerals and she can decide what she would like. It does stop relatives arguing about money and what their loved one 'would have wanted.'

bruffin Fri 09-Jan-15 15:57:19

you might find this helpful OP

My dad was in a similar situation, no debts and not enough for probate.The funeral bills were sent directly to the bank and they paid out of his account. My DM just died and again the bills have been paid by the bank.

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