Many people expect their funeral to be costly and plan on paying the cost ahead of their death. It’s a great way for the deceased to ease the weight of their death off their loved ones’ shoulders. Yet, it seems funeral costs get higher each year, making it hard on grieving families.
If you pay for your loved one’s funeral and other expenses, can you get repaid from the estate?
Funeral costs can be covered in different ways
If your loved one had a pre-paid funeral and burial trust, the funds from that plan must be used for the payment of all their funeral services, including cremation, a burial site, a grave or other internment options (like an urn) and a headstone (if there’s a grave). Anything left over in the burial trust can then be distributed to the estate. Life insurance, too, is often used to pay for funeral costs.
Sometimes, the estate’s personal representative (the executor) can make arrangements to have the estate itself pay for the funeral. Reasonable funeral and burial costs are given priority over other claims that creditors may have against the estate, so whether this is possible largely depends on the funeral home’s willingness to accept the deal.
If your family needs to handle the funeral costs in advance, however, the bill for reasonable funeral expenses can be submitted to the deceased’s personal representative to be reimbursed later. This is only possible, however, if the estate has enough money in it to cover those costs.
You may need to seek legal assistance if you’re unsure what step to take to ensure you’re reimbursed for funeral costs. A single misstep, without knowing how to be reimbursed, could cause you to lose out on hard-earned cash.