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My mother recently passed away and 4 of my siblings made arrangements with the local funeral home for cremation as I was unable to be present. When they had called me before the final decision was made on what expenses they where considering, I had indicated that there was an alternative cremation services that could have offerred a savings of $350 on the $2800 total bill. They indicated that that wasn't enough savings to make it "worth the effort" and I agreed that if they were all OK spending the extra money to go ahead and have every thing taken care of locally. Immediately after the memorial, my oldest sibling confronted me that I owed my other sister $470 and needed to write her a check immediately because she had put it on her credit card. I indicated that I would take care of it. The next day I asked my sisters for a copy of any receipt/invoice from the funeral home and I would make prompt payment of my portion. The response was that "it was too much to ask for at this time while everyone was still healing". I replied for them to take as much time as needed but to fulfill my obligations and responsiblities as the head of household for my family I needed transparency in our mother's end-of-live expenses. Now, all my siblings say I'm being unreasonable, that I'm hold my payment hostage, and to just pay up. Is it really that unreasonable especially when as head of household I have to be finanacially responsible to my spouse and children?

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I'm sorry for all that you and your family are going thru, the loss of your mom and the ensuing drama. I'm thinking there's been a bit of discord between you and the sibs prior to this. A quick check with friends who've planned their parents funeral would have told you that $2800 is not out of line. Your sibs didn't opt for the $10K casket or the total frills package - they kept it to a simple cremation with some extremely helpful assistance by the funeral home. It's possible that there's also an invoice from the newspaper for the obit that isn't in the amount your wife was given by the funeral home, and obits can get pricey. If my sib told me she'd pay her share AFTER she saw the invoice, I'd hear the subtext of "I don't trust that you've told me the real price". Yes, I'd have my knickers in a knot too.

When our dad passed, my sister made all the arrangements for his cremation. We shared costs, without questions. The one thing she missed in her grief was that the cemetery had a fee to inter Dad's ashes in the family plot. My husband and I looked at each other and I got out the credit card. My sister didn't know about this oversight until sometime later - why? because we decided that this woman had been holding Dad's hand when he passed and we weren't going to cause her any more sadness. My husband wouldn't let her reimburse us - she'd been helping the folks, she'd done so much for them, I lived out of town, she was in school and money was tight. It's what families do.

My opinion is that to create discord and pain and more drama for your dad, your family over this tiny sum of money seems cruel. As for transparency as head of household, part of marriage is "I'll help with your parents and you, with mine, as we need to".

I hope you're all able to work thru this, as family can be such a precious thing especially as we all get older.
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So, if I have this correct, you're the out of town sibling who had little to do with the caregiving or the arrangements? And you ultimately agreed to the $2800 price? And now you are asking, right after your mom's death and funeral for receipts? I have that correct?

Let me make a suggestion. Your sister who put this on her credit card may have financial issues that you are not privy to. Write her the check now. In 3 months, call up whoever dealt with the funeral home for the final bill on the expenses and file it so that you know it was the correct amount that you paid.

Please remember to send Christmas cards to your siblings this year and checks or gift cards to your nieces and nephews. It's the proper thing to do, just as getting a receipt for the funeral expenses is.
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It's not wrong of you to ask for invoices or receipts or whatever. And it shouldn't be that difficult for your siblings to provide these documents (although presumably your sister won't get her credit card statement for a couple of weeks).

It's just… a bit… eeeuw. Do you really not trust them to add up?

I don't think you're being unreasonable. You are being a bit pompous. And a bit of a skinflint. At a time when your siblings are probably not in the mood for it. Take a risk, just send your sister the money.
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When people say it's not about the money, usually it's about the money. If it isn't in your case, it is about the hurt of not being trusted. You did not trust your siblings to give you a correct amount. And you found out they did, within $52.20. Wanting to see the invoice is not really wrong, but insisting on it when feelings were hurt by the request maybe was. And insisting because you are head of household you had a special need for documentation probalby did not help one iota - your sisters probably have a lot of family responsibilites too and felt you belittled them.

Please be the bigger person here and say OK, I added stress to a difficult situation, I have learned a lesson, and that lesson is: it is less important to be right than to be kind. Don't be estranged from your family if it can be helped. Send them $500.00 and an apology and either flowers, chocolate, or coupons for a spa package in whatever amount you can afford. You had one mom, you have one family, and siblings hating on each other dishonors your mom and creates distress in everyone's life going forward.

If you have never admitting being wrong before, now is as good a time as any to start. You may find it totally refreshing, and I am not being sarcastic. I grew up being unable to admit imperfection because of the way I was raised by my mom, but eventualy learned better; my mom never did, and it blighted her life and our relationship in many ways.
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Yes, it is the principle of the thing. The principle that you are somehow more important (or at least more pompous) because you are a head of a household. The principle that you didn't trust your siblings to give you the correct expense amount without backup documentation. The principle that you would have preferred for your siblings to go out of their way and out of their comfort zone in a stressful time for them in order to save a few bucks with a cheaper cremation service.

What the principles are on their side, I have no idea. Sounds pretty messed up to me, and out of proportion to your offense.

Write the check NOW. Put in a little extra for the work they did. Back off and let the bad feelings die down.

If you are modeling the principle to your children that it is important to have accurate financial records but you are not modeling the importance of family sticking together in tough times, I feel a little sad for your priorities.
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ReasonableBro, good heavens, your Mother just passed away, and you want to break up the family over $52.20 which probably has to do with other out of pocket expenses not connected to the funeral home. Imagine if your Mom was looking down and seeing this happening all because she had passed away :(
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$470 means it was divided six ways. The so-advertised cheap cremations often do NOT include transporting the body, publishing an obituary, no urn just a Ziploc bag, no death certificates, and many other "extras" that a funeral director includes as part of their services. They get you in the door cheap and tack on, nickel and dime you until there is no real savings. I'm sorry you were not there, but I think you should pay up because it was done very economically if the bill was only $2800.
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So either they are diddling you out of $52.20, or, perhaps, there were incidental expenses paid for on your sister's credit card but not charged by the funeral home per se. Floral tributes? Refreshments for the mourners? You could ask for an itemised account but I really wouldn't recommend it.

I'm sorry that this has caused unpleasantness for your family. Bereavement does expose nerve endings rather, and people get upset very easily. I hope the dust settles soon. My sympathies for your loss.
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I don't even know what to say. I do know emotions are raw at a time like this...and so first of all, I am sorry at the passing of your Mom. I do not know what all the family dynamics are so I want to be careful about what I say...

I don't know if you have helped care for your Mom throughout her final days or years or if you were largely "away" for the most part and the siblings were the ones who had to do most of the caregiving.

For me, I have been the sole caregiver for my sweet Mama going on four years now, have born the entire expense of her care, had to sell my home at a loss, gave up my job and retirement, etc....and when my Mama passes I already know I am going to be the only one who will pay for the final expenses, even though I have a sibling. My sister in law has not been to this house in over three years to see my Mama even though she and Mama and I were close all of our years together...She does not work, has no children and yet complains about every single thing my brother even attempts to do for Mama or for me. I will say that if my SISTER IN LAW called the funeral home after the sad time when my Mama passes, I would be LIVID....and I have already begun preplanning and the funeral is going to be close to $10,000 NOT including floral, etc. so to be quibbling over this amount of money and for your wife to call the funeral home is honestly so offensive to me I really just don't know what to say.

I am sorry that you are going through this at such a time...To me the best tribute any of us can pay to our parents when t
hey leave us is to show a sense of familial peace and grace ...but sadly I have seen this type of thing happen all too many times...truly, it seems so sad to me to be demanding an itemized invoice and is it really worth breaking up the family over.

When I lost my Daddy, my ex sister in law created so much drama and it was ugly...I knew my brother was not the instigator but the fact he allowed her to do it was and always will be hard for me to get over...Ugly things that happen during such a painful and sad time leave deep deep wounds that often times will not heal...

Personally, unless your siblings have given you reason in the past to be untrustworthy I would pay your part and ask no more questions. And also personally, even if they had over such a small amount of money I would pay it and ask no more questions. And tell your wife to stay out of this.
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ReasonableBro, if you are willing to sever ties with your siblings over $52 of unexplained funeral expenses then, yes, you are pompous and a skinflint. Aren't you all mourning the loss of your mother? Aren't you all a little on edge and emotionally fragile? Apologize for taking so long to reimburse the sister who put your share on her credit card. Apologize for not trusting them to take care of things when you could not participate. Or write them all off if that would really make you feel better.
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