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I paid my mother's life insurance premiums out of my pocket for over ten year ($4,000) since she could no longer pay her bills due to her Alzheimer's/dementia condition. In addition, I also was her sole primary care giver and during the past 6 years, took care of her 24/7. She recently passed away at which time, me and my siblings discovered that my mother had designated me as her primary beneficiary on the policy. The policy wasn't much ($11,000) however, I assigned $9,200 of it towards her funeral cost. My two siblings charged the remaining funeral cost of $10,000 on a credit card and expect me to reimburse them for one third of the $10,000 ($3,333). In the rush to make the funeral arrangements three days after our mother's death, I agreed to this but on the fourth day, after discussing this with my aunt (my mother's sister) and several cousins, I decided that it wasn't fair that I should also have to contribute $3,333 when I'd already spent $4,000 of my own money to pay for the insurance policy (a fact that my sisters were well aware of through the years, yet they never offered to assist in paying any of the premiums) and then, contributed $9,200 (out of $11,000) towards the funeral expenses as well. Subsequently, I informed my sisters that after careful consideration (reiterating to them again, the valid reasons noted above), I wasn't going to reimburse them $3,333. Note: one of my sisters was very angry when she first learned that our mother had designated me as the primary beneficiary; she even insisted that in addition to reimbursing them the $3,333, I should also divide the remaining $1,800 from the payout, between the three of us; she even made a comment about taking me to court. In feel both of my sisters are not treating me fairly and, that I've contributed more than my fair share towards the funeral expenses, Am I wrong to feel this way? And if not, how can I get them to understand the validity of my decision?

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That's what I told fave sis. My life insurance is going to her. Pay off my funeral expenses-cheapest coffin, etc... I'm dead, so it won't bother me on how plain it is. The rest of the money is hers. I already have a plot. Just need to get the coffin.
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It could be that your mom's life insurance was meant to pay for her funeral. That would be customary, in my family.
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And the moral of the story is… don't commission anything until you've established who's paying.

Your sisters were idiots not to cover this pretty elementary point, not even to ascertain from you what the insurance policy would pay out. Profligate idiots at that - wasn't that a HECK of a bill? - though I hope at the very least you were all satisfied that your mother's funeral did her proper justice. They're quite lucky you didn't just pocket the insurance money and run away laughing.

But, having said that, I was adding up in my head and thinking "minus four equals, divided by three leaves errr…" and then saw GA had done it all. I agree - do your best to split the actual cost equally, without taking monetary credit for your foresight because that would be rubbing it in.
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Oh my...First of all Sunny, my sincere condolences on the loss of your Mom. It is sad that these issues pop up at these times, but all too often they happen more often than not. I agree with those who have posted, I do not think for one minute you owe anymore to your sisters...If anything they owe you....I do not believe any attorney worth having would take this own and most likely your sister is speaking out of grief ....maybe some guilt too...but it seems you have already gone way beyond the call in being there all those years for your loved one. That is priceless, however if they persist in their efforts, let them know what a 24/7 caregiver who has to be hired would have cost them and that should back them off....bless your heart. I pray you can find peace in knowing you already did all you could...you do not owe them anything... imo...
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I agree. You paid so much both monetary and physically for your mom and her care. As long as you have all your documents (checks, credit card statements) as proof that you paid for all these, it will be your proof that you weren't living off of your mom.

As for the funeral cost, when my mom passed away last year, I was all for a simple funeral. But noooo my older siblings wanted a large half page obituary for mom, in Color for about $1800.00! I and my younger siblings wanted the quarter page black/white for only $800.00. They wanted lots of flowers in the church, in the casket, etc... I was more into keeping it simple. Fortunately, my parents already paid off their casket, and since dad is vet, mom got to be buried at the veteran's cemetery - which helped keep the cost low. But I know just what you mean about the cost. I wanted simple and inexpensive - the older siblings wanted big , expensive stuff. It's all for show - to those who come to mom's funeral. By the way, my condolences on your mother. And also that your sisters are doing this to you. Don't give in to them. You did the best you can for your mom and you know it. Don't let them browbeat you. {{Hugs}}
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Who decided on a $20,000 funeral when Mother had only set aside a $11,000 policy to pay for it?

It is too bad these decisions have to be made in the midst of grief.

I agree that you don't owe your sisters for the funeral.
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You were smart, you planned ahead and had money for the funeral. In a moment of grief, you managed to spend nearly $20,000 when the budget was only half of that. Your sisters did not plan ahead, nor did they rein in the spending. It's their problem, not yours, let them sulk all they want.
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Take comfort that families who appear to be functional also experience this post death. My career in health has proven to me that no matter how un-dysfunctional a family is or appears to be post death this all falls apart. Let this sit for awhile, and once the grief settles I am sure they will see the fairness in your decision, if not it is their feeling of wrong doing to own, not yours.
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I don't think you should pay A DIME towards the funeral expenses.
You did the 24/7 caregiving and were also On-Call for 365. PLEASE do not give any more than you have already given. It may take awhile for them to speak to you, but you have already gone above & beyond what they have done. In my book, they ought to be paying you for all your tens of thousands of hours of Real Work.
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It's unfortunate that these kinds of disputes have arisen so recently after your mother's death.

Your mother designated you as her life insurance beneficiary; you had no obligation to share any of that with your sisters. However, if I calculate right, you've already paid $9,200 while your 2 sisters would only pay $5,000 each without any further assistance from you. I think that's more than fair and if anything they should be reimbursing you.

$4,000 in premiums plus $19,200 divided by 3 = $7,733. So you've already paid $9200 plus $4,000, which puts you more out of pocket than them.

You could prepare an analysis of these calculations and send it to them, asking for reimbursement of your share of the $7,333.

As to suing you, I don't know of any good attorney who would sue for such a small amount. Your sisters would have to file suit themselves, and suing is not for amateurs or anyone not familiar with the legal system.

"Anyone can sue" is a good adage, but that doesn't mean that the suit won't be dismissed for lack of a viable cause of action.

You could also send them a bill for their share of the 24/7 caregiving you provided your mother over a period of several years.
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