Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 year ago

What happens at a funeral when someone dies bankrupt who pays the bills?

My grandparents are in a nursing home, and they will eventually run out of money, and will have to cash out their life insurance policies to pay privately in order to qualify for care paid for in a really crappy Medicaid nursing home once they run out of money. They have already consumed much of their home equity and their car was wrecked years ago with liability only insurance.

Their estimated funeral expenses for each of them are

2100 for funeral home services

12000 for casket

700 for embalmer

4000 for cemetery

800 for burial vault

500 for florist bill

700 for musicians and singers

325 for undertaker to transport body to funeral home

Which of these services are negotiable, they have a writen funeral instruction document stored long side their wills and it would be a crime to skimp on the funeral costs. Who pays for these expenses when medicaid estate recovery will leave the estate with a negative value before the funeral.

Do we. Need a lawyer now to figure out how to plan for this?

Which funeral vendors are likely to negotiate a lower rate? Does medicaid allow prepayment for a funeral or any ancillary services as part of a spend down. I'm sure paying for a funeral singer in advance is treated with suspicion by medicaid as a disqualifying transfer? Is this so?

What are we to do?

30 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 year ago
    Favourite answer

    I think you need some legal advice asap. Will, funeral plan or not, they will only have the funerals they can afford. If they cannot afford anything, and family members do not pay, then they will be given the cheapest pauper funerals. Check to see if they have arranged and paid for prepaid funeral plans though; that is a possibility. If your family cannot pay for the other items your parents desire then approach their Church. Others may be willing to offer their time to sing at an unofficial funeral.

    Myself, I have opted for no funeral as most of my friends and family are quite distant. Others I have known, even very wealthy ones at that, have done this and their friends and family just got together for a meal together in remembrance. I thought these were more suitable than the unnecessary, expensive and wasteful alternatives.

    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
  • 1 year ago

    waved?

    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    My relatives died with money but they did not want it to go to a funeral parlor, so they were cremated and avoided almost all of the expenses you listed. First of all, if your grandparent dies in a facility where they can legally be pronounced deceased, you can very well have a crematory pick them up for cremation. I did that for a relative and the cremation fee was $1200. This way you avoid the funeral parlor expenses, which is nothing but financial emotional extortion. Rather than have a wake, have a church service. Once your second grand parent passes away, then also have them cremated. You can then bury both of them at the same time in the same cemetery plot which will charge you about a thousand dollars to dig a hole (internment fee). No need to buy two plots, pay for two funerals double your expenses.

    My grandmother and my father died within 3 weeks of one another from different illnesses. We had one celebration of life party after the church service. My grandmother was buried in another state, next to my grandfather. My father's ashes and my mother's ashes (she died 19 years earlier) were put in a double urn and buried together in one plot.

    There are ways to save money on funeral expenses. You just have to be smart and not listen to the funeral homes who will bamboozle you out of every cent they can get out of you. Really. Be smart.

    Also, you can very well prepay for funeral expenses. I did that in 1996 for my own grandmother and she died in 2007....all expenses pre-paid.

    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
  • 1 year ago

    Since they still have life insurance, consider cashing in part of it and using that money to pre-pay the funeral. That way the money can not be eaten up by the nursing home bills.

    Talk to a funeral home and work out the cheapest package you can. Cremation is cheaper than burial. Cut the flower, organist, etc. If you are going to cremate, rent a casket for the funeral instead of buying. There are alternatives.

    Once you have a price, you (not your parents) can take out a policy on them to cover the cost of the funeral. That way medicare can not touch the money.

    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 1 year ago

    Simply fit a bill for this it’s a right

    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
  • 1 year ago

    Depends on state

    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
  • 1 year ago

    some details vary by state/country [where is this happening?]. Which is why you need to consult an attorney in the state/country where this is happening.

    In general, the person who makes the arrangements with the funeral home has to pay the bill -- they get their money back only if the estate can afford to repay them.

    A basic cremation can be had for about $1,000 [in the US]. Look for the provider NOW in the area where your grandparents live. Bargaining is done BEFORE signing the agreement -- and the person signing has to pay, same as above paragraph.

    The funeral instruction document is only valid if the estate has the funds [life insurance?] to pay for those costs.

    Many states have a simplified estate process for cases where the estate is bankrupt or near bankrupt -- in this, the relative making arrangements proposes to Probate Court which bills will be paid using the available assets. The usual deal is that debts protected by law are paid first, and all others receive a proportionate share of whatever [if anything] is left.

    Note: Medicaid in many states will file a claim against the estate for the amounts it has paid toward nursing home and other costs. Frequently, this becomes the largest creditor.

    Life insurance is paid to the designated beneficiary in the policy, NOT as the Will states. Said beneficiary is not legally obligated to pay anything toward the funeral or the estate's costs and debts. Similarly, some other assets may pass as state law specifies ... or may be subject to clawback to pay the debts and costs of the estate.

    Families are responsible for the costs of nursing home care ONLY if they have signed paperwork so stating. Of course, nursing homes put this in their contracts long ago and a good attorney may get you out of it when Medicaid payment becomes a reality. [There may be legal forms to file and hoops to jump that depend on the state.]

    Source(s): grampa -- I'm working on my family's second estate as Executor.
    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    "Who pays for these expenses when medicaid estate recovery will leave the estate with a negative value before the funeral. "

    You or another family member/friend can volunteer to pay with their own money. Or you can just put them in a cardboard box and cremate them.

    It's better that money be spent on them when they are alive than when they are dead. When they are dead they no longer have needs other than to be disposed of in a sanitary way.

    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    There is no funeral when no one can pay the bill. The decedent will often be buried in a "potters field" in a pine box or their body is incinerated using the death benefit from Social Security to cover the expense.

    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
  • TedEx
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    You needed a lawyer a long time ago. See one who specializes in wills, estates and eldercare

    • Commenter avatarLog in to reply to the answers
Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.