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Have you ever seen this in an obituary?

February 22nd, 2007 at 12:03 pm

I never have. "In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the funeral home to defray the cost of X's funeral expenses."

This is was an elderly friend of my MIL's, not a homeless person or some poverty-stricken victim of violent crime who's been in the news. There were 23 surviving relatives listed, including two children and two brothers. The rest were grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Very sad, of course, that she didn't have enough at the end to pay for her own funeral expenses. But doesn't it seem rather tacky that such a large family is asking for help paying for it? I wonder how fancy a funeral it was. Too embarrassed to have a really simple funeral, but not too embarrassed to ask for money?

I never, never want to be in that position where someone has to ask for help paying for my funeral. I think I'd be embarrassed even if I were dead!

8 Responses to “Have you ever seen this in an obituary?”

  1. Nic Says:

    I've read "The family requests no floral arrangements." which is a subtle way of saying "monetary donations are greatly appreciated."
    Funerals are expen$ive and perhaps the family just couldn't come up with all of the ca$h at once.

  2. baselle Says:

    You kind of wonder whether there are other issues. When my dad died, for example, there was enough money in his savings and checking account to pay for the funeral. In a sense, death is the last emergency that the emergency fund pays for.

    It could well be that her assets were so illiquid (house) or were part of the estate to be carved up in the will, so there's nothing left that available, or worse everyone's trying to maximize the estate by moving the costs onto the other grievers.

  3. gruntina Says:

    Sometimes there are no wills and the estates and accounts go to probate which takes a very long time for the money to be distributed.

  4. campfrugal Says:

    I have had to bury my mom, my dad, my kids dad and his mother all in the past four years. Each funeral was approximately $10,000. In some cases, we had to ask for donations to help defray costs. Unless you plan for your funeral, burial plot and headstone yourself, someone else is going to get stuck with the cost.

  5. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    No, I've never seen that. But I'd consider the request seriously.

  6. nance Says:

    I see it alll the time, it is just worded differently. It will say, "In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Smith funeral home in John Doe's name.
    It amounts to the same thing, but doesn't seem as blatent.
    Even though a person seems to be doing okay, financially, they may be heavily in debt, and the family who has to pay for the bill may be in the same financial condition. It is a sign of the times.

  7. LuckyRobin Says:

    Actually, I think it is a nice idea. People want to help where it will do the most good and if that means donating to the cost of the funeral than so be it. Flowers wither and die so quickly and do they really need more than one arrangement? I know that I would have a very difficult time trying to come up with the money to pay for a funeral if my parents hadn't already planned for their deaths and I know that neither of my sisters would be able to either. Which reminds me, I should really check with my MIL and FIL and see if they have anything in place. Especially for MIL as she is massively overweight at 400 pounds and might require a larger coffin at 3X the price.

    If something happened to my DH it could be weeks before I had insurance money with which to pay for a funeral and the funeral home wants to be paid rather quickly, or at least has with all of the grandparents and grandparent in laws funerals I've attended. At least I have a rider on my life insurance that covers funeral costs immediately for either of my kids, heaven forbid.

  8. StressLess Says:

    Gee, I had no idea that requesting this was so common, or that having a hard time paying for funerals was so common, or that funeral homes typically wanted their money before the life insurance came through. Just not in my family experience, at all. And there have been quite a few funerals over the years.

    I think what really amazes me is that in a family of 23 survivors, there isn't one person who was enough of a financial success, and willing enough, to jump in to save the day on this.

    It does make me think about starting yet another goal account, for final expenses. Or getting some extra life insurance for DH and I, in case something happened before the goal account was large enough. We both have life insurance through work, but if we leave our jobs the policies would disappear.

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