Can I legally be made to pay for my parents burial?

Follow
Share

I don't really know how long my brother has had POA, but do know that he has been a co-owner (signer) on Dad's bank account since April (when he was diagnosed with glioblastoma brain tumors). He is also Executor of my Dad's will.


Suspicions of how Dad's money has been getting spent aside (to say my Dad's resources were limited would be an understatement), I do think it would be fair to say that my philosophy on the priority for how the bills got paid is different from my brother's. My Dad owns his home, but it may be upside down since the recession. I don't have financial details because...well...I don't. If I ask about them my brother takes it personally and accuses me of "flipping him (insert word)" but never answers the questions other than to detail how much the medical bills are (usually before Medicare has paid them).


My Dad is about to pass. My brother is now asking me for money to be able to follow through with Dad's wishes for burial.


Can he make me contribute? If I say no, can he sue me later?


That's the crux of the issue, you only have to keep reading if you are curious:


I should say that I do really want my Dad to end up where he wishes to be. My suspicion does not stem from any actual caring of what my brother does with my Dad's money. My suspicion is based on the fact that my brother has spent years avoiding me and my family. The only times, before Dad got sick, that I heard from him were to try and pawn me something or ask for loans. THAT is the basis of my suspicion. Sometimes he needs money a must think, for some reason, I'm a bank account to be tapped. I think this falls into the same category. Again, I truly want my Dad (and mom, she was cremated and will go into the ground with him), go into their desired place. But the only money I have is in my kids' college fund. Replacing it would be a hardship to my family.


I am truly struggling with the 'rock and hard place' position of making a choice between the possibility of my parents not getting to be where they envisioned, or causing financial hardship to my family. Given my brother's financial history, I feel safe is saying I feel like I'm being taken advantage of....again.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
1

Answer

Show:
I think I would assert your concern and desire that your father is buried properly and where he wants (I assume no funeral plot was purchased when your mother passed, and if so does someone have the urn?) but you feel financial justification is appropriate only with documented evidence of need.

I don't think in this situation that it's beyond reason to ask for copies of your father's monthly checking account statement, information on other assets including investments, and monthly mortgage statements. If you're being asked to contribute, you have a right to know the financial basis, although I don't think it's unreasonable for siblings to split the cost of a funeral.

You would need to be careful though that your brother doesn't become too extravagant; funeral costs tend to soar astronomically.

If as you suspect your brother has been dipping into the finances, he may flatly refuse to provide any documentation.

You might also state that since your brother is executor of the will (and assuming you're a beneficiary), you'd like to help him with assessment (not payment) of post-death financial obligations but need to see the documentation in order to do so.

If he refuses to give it, what you might consider is taking over the funeral arrangements on your own, excluding your brother, and absorbing the cost. I have the feeling that you might need to literally put a tracer on what you give to your brother as you have no confirmation it will be used as anticipated.

In that sense, if you do agree, ask for information on the funeral home, contact them directly and arrange to make a payment to them, taking the issue of sending money to your brother for the funeral entirely out of his hands.

It would likely cost you more, but if you offer to relieve him of this responsibility, you can present it as a helpful suggestion while he's dealing with other end-of-life issues. I would think if he's honest, he'd welcome this kind of offer.

Then you can handle the funeral, assure that your parents are together, and avoid having to deal with the issue of your brother's possible financial transgressions.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.