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Funeral Expenses

AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin KoopantinoRegistered User regular
My father-in-law passed away the other day, somewhat unexpectedly. He was in bad shape but the family expected he would recover, however he took a sharp turn for the worse and very quickly he was gone. Now the family is in a predicament. He was a decorated Vietnam war veteran, so the VA is covering the cost of his burial. Unfortunately, they do not cover the cost of the funeral, which is several thousand dollars even with the most modest options from the funeral home. Worse, the family is strapped for cash, there's no assets to speak of, and the funeral home demands cash up front or they will not perform the service.

Long story short somehow the family needs to find thousands of dollars in a little less than a week to give this man a proper funeral. I'm sure someone here has been in a similar situation. How did you resolve it? Are there assistance programs or some sort of loan you can take out? I've been Googling around but everything I find seems like a scam. This is adding a ton of stress to an already awful situation.

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Posts

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2017
    Sorry for your loss.

    Short version is it's a shitty system and sounds like you got a bad funeral company. They should work with you.

    Someone may be able to take it a loan through their bank or credit union, or if they can get the life insurance money (if there is any). Often retirement or investments have emergency withdrawal options.

    Cremation is often less expensive if that's an option.

    Was he involved in a church or other group? Could talk to them. Did he stay in touch with other vets?

    Good luck.

    MichaelLC on
    Jokerman wrote: »
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  • SiskaSiska Shorty Registered User regular
    Make a list of things needed, not provided by the VA, and look into what those things would cost individually. For instance, caskets can be a lot cheaper if you don't buy them from a funeral home.

    dispatch.oShadowfireEnc
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited January 2017
    I have opinions about funerals being for the living, though they're not relevant. The biggest thing to keep in mind is the funeral industry is a scam. It's built entirely around convincing you that if you love this person you will spend money you don't have paying predatory prices for things that ultimately matter very little.

    When they go to the funeral home or negotiate any price, it's a good idea to have a friend there who is not grieving to advise and negotiate in the favor of the bereaved. I would recommend you talk to the VA / VFW and ask their advice. It's not an uncommon problem, and should be a reminder that it's best to take care of your arrangements while you're living if there's some specific thing you want.

    dispatch.o on
    HandgimpceresElvenshaeBolthorn
  • MulysaSemproniusMulysaSempronius but also susie nyRegistered User regular
    Sorry for your loss. Funerals are not for the person who has passed. It's for their family. If it is a large burden, consider alternatives. My grandfather and grandmother had very simple services at the graveyard, and the family just went out for brunch afterwards.

    If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
    ceresdispatch.otynicEnccabsyMichaelLCElvenshae
  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    Will be looking into all these suggestions. Is there any financing / loans meant for this type of situation?

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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    I'm sure there are but just like the funeral industry, they probably prey on the situation.

    Better to get an (ideally) unsecured loan from a bank or other financial institution.

    Jokerman wrote: »
    If sigs were still a thing this would be mine.
  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Siska wrote: »
    Make a list of things needed, not provided by the VA, and look into what those things would cost individually. For instance, caskets can be a lot cheaper if you don't buy them from a funeral home.

    Surprisingly, Costco apparently has really good prices on caskets.

    MichaelLC
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Sorry for your loss. Funerals are not for the person who has passed. It's for their family. If it is a large burden, consider alternatives. My grandfather and grandmother had very simple services at the graveyard, and the family just went out for brunch afterwards.

    My grandparents did this too, but they were Jewish and Jewish funerals tend to be dead --> less than 24 hours pass --> maybe a service then box in ground --> food. My uncle was Catholic and not exactly wealthy but the funeral was four days later and an all-day affair moving from place to place. Religious considerations might make things more complicated.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    dispatch.o
  • MulysaSemproniusMulysaSempronius but also susie nyRegistered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    Sorry for your loss. Funerals are not for the person who has passed. It's for their family. If it is a large burden, consider alternatives. My grandfather and grandmother had very simple services at the graveyard, and the family just went out for brunch afterwards.

    My grandparents did this too, but they were Jewish and Jewish funerals tend to be dead --> less than 24 hours pass --> maybe a service then box in ground --> food. My uncle was Catholic and not exactly wealthy but the funeral was four days later and an all-day affair moving from place to place. Religious considerations might make things more complicated.
    My grandmother was very Catholic. The priest said a few words at the burial, and that was the extent.
    It's harder when it's unexpected, and you're not sure what to do/ what's expected. My grandparents did have the time to make their choices and let everyone know that they wanted very small affairs.

    If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
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