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My 96 year old mom, who lives with my husband and I, doesn’t seem to want to pre-plan her funeral. She says she doesn’t really care, but I want it done because as POA, I can’t write a check from her account after she dies. I thought it would make things easier after, because it would be paid for already. Will a funeral home wait for payment until the will is probated? Or will I have to pay from my money and TRY to get reimbursed by my 5 siblings?

I have a joint account with my mother for these kinds of things. Can you make her agree to make a joint account with your name on it? You can tell her it's for 'emergencies', which is pretty much true... in my opinion. 🦋
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Reply to Heart2Heart
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MaryKathleen Aug 8, 2018
Be careful how you have the account set up. If it isn't correct, the money could be frozen on her death.
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While my parents were not focused on preplanning their funerals, but I was able to get my sisters to talk about it. Fortunately, with their tacit agreement, I was able to make the arrangements.
It's important that family members speak together, when feasible and reasonable, and designate someone to make the arrangements. This absolutely creates greater ease when death does happen.
If your loved one doesn't want to make the arrangements or talk about it, remember that the funeral, memorial is for you... Making arrangements is part of self-care.
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Reply to LorenMGG
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Yes! My late mother had wanted to pre plan her funeral while I was living with her as I had to move in with her from my state. I was really dreading it. We sat down with the substitute funeral director as the regular director had died unexpectedly while atteding a wedding! Horrible. We go to the funeral home and I'm thinking "I just CANNOT look at a casket." Did not have to as there was a book and my late mother said "I think I'll be more comfortable in that one." My response="How will you know?" All 3 of us laughed and mother and I went out for lunch and ice cream. 180 degree expectation for me!
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Your mother may not care, So, you do the planning, keep it simple, does she care if she is cremated or buried? is she religious? Does she want to "take anything" with her? Like a ring, dress, etc. My late sister-in-law was cremated, no urn, just a cardboard box, which we wrapped in her favorite fabric. She was a quilter.

My aunt in Dallas Texas died the first of June. To pick her remains up from the hospital, and cremate her cost $800.00. My cousin had an open house at her home, and catered it with her favorite restaurant. As I have said here before, he put her cremains in her favorite cookie jar. It seemed perfect to him, another cousin, and myself. She already had the plot and it was going to cost $2,000 to open and close it.

You can spend as much or as little as you want. I do recommend getting your ducks in line now, before you need to do it in the midst of your grief.

I often think that all of us on this forum need to think of these things too.
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Reply to MaryKathleen
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My mom is 97 and wants to be cremated and no service. Cremation w/out a service in our town runs about $800 to $1500 depending on type of urn or box to hold ashes. That also includes a number of Death Certificates. She has no friends left, only family. We will probably have a lovely Celebration of Life Memorial for her when the time comes. If your mom doesn't care, keep it simple.
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Reply to sudalu
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Grief twenty years ago caused me to spend well over $20,000 for my husband's funeral. He had wanted to talk about pre-plans and brought the subject up one day, but I could not handle it.

One of my children now works in a funeral home, a very good family-run home and has since counseled me on how many places take advantage of loved ones in their grief.

I am not at all good with death. Luckily, my mom and dad purchased their own burial plans many years ago. Dad is gone; Mom is still going strong at 93. We have four plots together already paid for, and headstones already down. Dad and my husband are in 2 spots, which leave 2 for Mom and me. So there wouldn't be too much left for my expenses, but I haven't done it yet either. (And, depends on my mood, Mom and I often argue, so not sure I want to be buried next to her "for all eternity" :). We will see.

Recently, one of my friends told me all about having purchased their mother's casket online (and apparently vaults are available as well). She had the casket delivered right to the funeral home... a very nice one for much less than would be available at a home.
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Reply to Myownlife
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Since I had POA, I went to the funeral home and made the arrangements before my dad passed. From previous discussions, I basically knew what my dad wanted.
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Reply to jaylin
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I’m one of 2 independent POAs, and I’ve preplanned and prepaid. I used my mother’s and my aunt’s funerals as a “template” for planning the current AL resident, since she planned the funeral for my previously mentioned aunt.
Peace of mind for everyone.
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Reply to AnnReid
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My husband's parents had their sons go make the plans and they paid for them. It was part of their Medicaid eligibility process.
If you have POA and can write checks on her account now, why not just go do it yourself? She may not care what you plan, but may be quite happy to pay in advance.
Our local funeral homes expect payment up front, unless you assign them life insurance or make arrangements prior to services.
If you do pay personally, you should be able to be reimbursed by her estate; but it would be easier, IMO, to do the pre-plan.
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Reply to Agingmyself
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If you are her POA just do it. Most people do not do this planning but maybe you can get info from her in bits and pieces. Maybe sit with her and say you are planning your own and ask her opinion.

Now as far as my parents and aunt, they prepaid 20 years ago. They saw a local funeral director who set them up with a plan like an insurance policy which makes about 1 or 2 percent interest each year. I get the 1099 each year as mom is the only one living. The plan is portable however the local funeral director has all the information right down to the type of urn. They then purchased the plot and stone to be engraved as each one passed. Since they decided cremation and their plot allowed, they even invited my brother and I to join them if we decide cremation.

As far as extra costs there was a few based on our decisions for services, church, flowers, post funeral lunch, newspaper, and printing. I am also executor so things went smoothly with the 2 deceased. No probate was needed. All my brother and I had to do is meet with the director for about an hour. He even arranged for getting extra death certificates upon request.

As POA it is well worth that you start shopping. Did you know that pre funeral arrangements is a legitimate pre Medicaid spendown?
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Reply to MACinCT
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As her POA just go to a funeral home & do it - if she is reluctant then let her be - go mid range price wise then it is done - your choice as to whether to tell her or not after the fact -

Maybe you & hubby could do yours at same time so she won't feel you are rushing her into the ground so to speak & if you do it that way then I'd tell her it was a group deal & maybe you could get a group deal with 3 being done at same time

Do you have a plot? - will she be cremated? - church service etc etc - these are questions that need to be discussed before you sign anything
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Reply to moecam
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I called the Funeral Home to ask about pre-payment for my Dad after my mother passed away. They came to the house and we discussed our needs (Pop was Jewish) and due to his current health at the time, we were allowed to pre-pay for his pending funeral.
His health improved and he lived another 7.5 years - but the funeral was already paid for.
What happened with me is, I told the Funeral Home that if it became necessary for Pop to go to a Nursing Home, the government would not leave me enough to pay for his funeral and they agreed.
You can go as cheaply or as expensively as you choose. My father wasn't supposed to be cremated or embalmed (Jewish), plain pine box (they had a wooden box that was cloth covered) and he had to be in the ground within 24 hours - No Funeral Parlor. $2500, 7 years ago.
More recently my DH passed and I did Cremation/no embalming - under $1500 and I went to LivingUrn.com and for another $159, I am planting a tree with my DH's ashes. The Funeral Home did the cremation and transferred the ashes to my Living Urn.
At least this should give you some idea of what you can do. To my knowledge, no Funeral Home will be willing to wait a full year for Probate to find out if there is any money. Most want to be paid within a few weeks or they can arrange financing for you. I used my Charge Card both times.

P.S. After reading some of the other answers - I didn't want my DH to be 'dressed' for cremation - that made no sense to me. Embalming didn't make sense either if he was to be cremated. Dressing & embalming cost extra and for what? Just FYI and what I did.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
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My advice is to get a joint account. Move enough money into an account to cover the funeral, florist, luncheon, church donations- whatever is associated with funeral expenses.
my mother’s expenses were approximately $9000.00, not including her plot. She bought the family plot herself a while ago.
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Reply to Rattled
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If she is being cremated then I don't understand why ur worrying about prepaying. At 94 I doubt if she has too many friends or family left. Cremation where I live is $2,300. When MIL died, the immediate family viewed her same with my FIL. A lot of families do it this way and then have a memorial later. My MIL was buried with her husband in a National Cemetery. We had a minister and small gathering of friends and family. Afterwards, a friend had a luncheon at her house. We chose the time between their wedding Anniversary and her Birthday which were close, this was May. She died in Feb.Prepaying is good when you want to make sure your wishes are carried out. You are in controll of the costs, outfit you want to wear, if you want a viewing ect. But your Mom doesn't care. So u can do what you want at the time. Be aware, that the 2,300 I said is only for the cremation. If you want a traditional viewing that is extra.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Spankiedoodle Jul 25, 2018
In Orlando Fl simple cremation is $ 850-$1,000 with no frills. Ashes in a simple cardboard box---you can buy your own fancy one. Everything is extra (like even them writing a notice for the newspaper---which you can do yourself). To honor my brother, we sent a donation to a local charity.
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My mom prepaid and -replanted every detail of her funeral. My dad didn’t prepay, but he did have a life insurance policy for funeral costs. Mom assigned the benefit to be paid to the funeral home. When the funeral home received the check, they called mom to come pick up a check for the difference between the policy and the cost of the funeral. My husband and I have both prepaid for our funerals and burial plots. We also have our headstone purchased and is in place at the cemetery.
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Reply to anonymous439773
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I thought it was the executor's responsibility to plan the funeral.
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cmagnum Jul 24, 2018
No, the family plans the funeral, the executor executes the Will and thus pays for the funeral.
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L84dinner, you are correct that you cannot write a check from Mom's checking account. But if you are the Executor of Mom's Will, you can take all the money from her checking account and place it into an account that says Estate of ______. The bank will want to see the Will or if your State requires Probate [with or without a Will] then you can given a certificate from Probate that you can use. The bank will also want a copy of the Death Certificate.

I was able to do the above for my Dad, where I could write checks from the Estate account while it is in Probate. Thus, any bills that came in for my Dad, that account paid the bills. I also kept copies of the bills and copy of the checks for later reference.

As for paying for the funeral, it depends on the funeral home. I know some cemeteries will require full payment on the day you purchase a plot.

Your Mom would need to let you know if she wishes to be placed in a cemetery or instead have her ashes scattered. I know some elders prefer not to talk about this subject. If she says she doesn't care, then honor her wishes and do what you think is best.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Who is the executor of the will? The reason that I ask is that the executor can pay for the funeral from funds in the estate. Normally, the bank sets up an account of the estate of (name) and from it bills can be paid.
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L84dinner Jul 23, 2018
Another sibling is executor, but also has POA. It’s a relief to know that bills can be paid out of the estate account. Thanks!
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Here’s my experience with pre-planning: My Mom and Dad paid for years on a pre-planning agreement. They had purchased their lots from my aunt and uncle who had moved out of town. When my father died, as a veteran, his marker was provided by the government. This was over 20 years ago, but from what I can remember, it still cost my husband and me over $2,000 to bury him. There was no funeral or memorial. When my mom died in 2016, she had paid on that plan for another 21 years. When all was said and done, with everything we were charged for her burial (again no funeral, viewing or service) it cost us close to $7,000. To this day, I am not certain what all those payments to the pre-plan covered.

My mother and I had a joint checking account. This made everything MUCH easier. Can you do that with your Mom?

Does Mom have any plans in effect at all? Has she ever, at any time, said what she wants? A big sendoff or a quiet family service...or nothing. No one wants to face their mortality. Mom’s avoiding the reality check. Don’t hound her about it, but maybe when you’re reminiscing about a service you remember, ask Mom, “Is that what you think you’d like, Mom?” If she says she doesn’t care, maybe she truly doesn’t. So tell her when she passes you will respectfully do your own thing and tell her you will. She may throw out some ideas.
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L84dinner Jul 23, 2018
Well, I DO know she wants to be cremated. And sprinkled “around”. So at least there won’t be a plot to buy. That sounds so awful, what you described paying $7000. for burial. I haven’t shopped around for anything remotely like this before! I’ll keep asking her questions and asking my siblings opinions and hope it works out!
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