Who will be liable on my mother’s funeral costs? 17 Answers as of February 27, 2014

We do not get along with my husband’s mother or his 2 sisters. Is he obligated to pay for her funeral expenses? He has asked her about this, and she avoids the question. We think she expects us (my husband being the oldest sibling) to pay for everything.

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Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
Your mother-in-law is (or her estate) is responsible for the costs of her funeral. Once it occurs, most likely the funeral home will look to see if there is life insurance that can cover the cost. Otherwise, they will look to the family (if she had not made any arrangements prior to) to foot the cost of the funeral.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/27/2014
Law Office of Jeffrey T. Reed | Jeffrey T. Reed
I don't know how big her estate is, normally the estate pays for those expenses. Does she have a will or trust? If your husband is not involved with her care, let the sisters deal with it. Unless you consent or profit from the estate they can't make you pay.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2014
Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
The ESTATE would be liable, but neither your husband nor either of his sisters has any obligations with respect to funeral expenses nor any other administrative costs.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/27/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Mom's estate should pay.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2014
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
Her estate will be obligated to pay.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 2/27/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Funeral costs are paid for by assets of the estate. Neither your husband or his siblings can be held liable for this cost unless the person agrees to pay the expenses.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Kirby G. Moss PC | Kirby G. Moss
    Whomever contracts with the funeral home for the funeral is who is liable for it.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Funeral expenses/burial expenses should be divided equal shares among the siblings of the deceased parent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    Your husband is under no legal obligation to pay for his mother's funeral expenses. However, any cost he does incur, if the mother has an estate, he may submit a claim for reimbursement for funeral costs against her estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire | Neal M. Rimer
    I would think that your mother's funeral costs will be paid by your mother, her estate, or her living trust, depending on how she has done her estate plan. It is not up to family to pay someone else's funeral costs. Sometimes, it is more convenient to have a family member advance funds to pay for a funeral, but that is with the expectation that those funds are a loan to be repaid by the estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    Usually unpaid funeral expenses come out of the estate. Your husband is not liable for this unless it is a condition of some inheritance or contract.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    Funeral and burial expenses are typically paid out of the assets of the estate of the deceased before any other claims or distributions are paid. No heir is required to pay funeral or burial expenses. If there are no assets in the estate of the decedents assets pass outside of the estate then the funeral and burial expenses would be voluntarily assumed by one or more of the heirs. An heir can take responsibility for such expenses when entering into a contract with the funeral director and the cemetery.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    He does not pay, rather her estate is responsible for the funeral costs.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    No, you have no obligation to pay funeral expenses. These are usually paid for by the decedent's estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    No one is technically "obligated" over anyone else. If she has any money in her estate when she dies, that will ultimately pay for it. The reality is if no one pays for it, there will be very little done and it is really up to the family to work it out.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Her estate is obligated to pay her funeral expenses.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 2/27/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    No, no one is obligated unless they sign the paperwork to do so. His mother's assets if any should be used and are liable.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/27/2014
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