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Burial Expense Question Illinois Illinois

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  • Burial Expense Question Illinois Illinois

    I have a sister, Ann, who is 65 y/o. She has never been married or had any children. Both of our parents are deceased. She lives on Social Security disability and has no assets except for some well-used household items.

    I, along with my other siblings, would like to purchase a small life insurance policy for her to cover funeral expenses. I have found an affordable policy, but the carrier needs to speak to Ann over the phone to read a disclosure.

    Ann's disability is emotional in nature and she states she will not speak to the agent. (For the most part, she does not speak to anyone except one sister and that's only because that sister takes her to the grocery store once a month.) Ann said she doesn't care what happens to her when she dies.

    So my question is what responsibility do we, as her siblings, have as far as her funeral expenses are concerned? We understand our moral obligation which is why we wanted to buy an insurance policy, but what is our legal responsibility?

  • #2
    You do not have a legal obligation to host a funeral for your sister. If you can not obtain life insurance, you might put the money you would have spent in premiums aside for this purpose.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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    • #3
      Thanks for your reply.

      Comment


      • #4
        If she will not cooperate in the buying of life ins. on her life, there isn't much you can do in that regard. You could, if you want, put money aside for that purpose. However, a sibling is not legally responsible for another sibling's burial/funeral costs.

        There are some policies out there where everything is done by mail (no phone calls or agent involved) except she would have to sign the application since she is an adult. You would have to check around for them though. They are advertised on the internet, through the mail & on the TV.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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        • #5
          I agree with the other posters that it might be easier for each sibling to contribute to a joint savings account for your sister's burial. I will guess a simple burial would cost around 5k (including casket but not burial plot). If there are a couple of other siblings along with you; you should be able to save that within a year or two.

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          • #6
            I agree that the siblings have no legal duty to foot the funeral costs for the sister.

            As the previous comments suggested, it may make sense to set up a separate account in one of your names (not in your sister's name) and simply pay in what you would have paid as premiums. That solution doesn't require your sister to do anything.
            David K. Staub (www.illinoisbusinessattorney.com)
            Forum posts are not legal advice, are for informational and educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for proper consultation with legal counsel.

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            • #7
              Just FYI, the cost of a life insurance policy for a 65 year old with a history of emotional illness is going to be extremely high.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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              • #8
                My brother has profound mental health issues and also lives on disability. I do sympathize with your desire to do the right thing when the time comes, despite the challenges you've experienced. I have put enough in a CD at my credit union to pay for a cremation and opening the family plot to inter the ashes. If there are no religious objections, cremation is less expensive than a casket and burial.
                I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cbg View Post
                  Just FYI, the cost of a life insurance policy for a 65 year old with a history of emotional illness is going to be extremely high.
                  There are some life ins. cos. that will issue limited amounts of life ins. without any medical questions asked. Generally, there is a clause though such as the face amount will not be paid if the insured dies within the first two years after issue. The premium though for a 65 year old would certainly be more than for a 35 year old for example.
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My husband is almost 64 and has a history of bio-based depression. We've been trying to find life insurance for him and the premiums are astronomical.
                    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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                    • #11
                      I'm talking about cos. that don't take medical hx into consideration. (no underwriting)

                      If he applied at the co. I worked for where we did underwriting, the cost could be higher than someone w/o any medical problems/history. (same age) We would get a doctor's report before we would decide on rate.

                      However, even w/o underwriting, of course the rate would be higher for a 64 yr. old than someone younger. Yep - when you start getting to the higher ages, life ins. is not cheap medical problems/hx or not. Overall though it is usually less expensive when underw. is not done. (everyone same age gets same rate)
                      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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                      • #12
                        The problem is, most of the companies/products that don't do medical underwriting aren't available in all states. Mine included.

                        But we're getting off track from the OP's question. Sorry, OP.
                        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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                        • #13
                          I appreciate everyone's input and we will likely just open a savings account to put some money back.

                          I got excited about this policy because it had LITERALLY no health questions. The carrier was a well-known life ins company and the cost was affordable, especially since we were splitting it four ways. And yes, it did NOT pay if my sister died within the first 2 years. However, if that occurred, you got your premiums back, plus 10% of the value of the premiums, which certainly beat savings account rates.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yes, most (if not all) of the policies that are issued w/o underwriting do not pay the face amt. for the first two years of the policy. Many will, as you noted, give a return of premiums paid with interest (or a % of value of premiums) for good faith & good customer service reasons.

                            There are some cos. where everything is done by mail & with no phone calls or agts. involved but if the insured is an adult, they have to sign the application for the ins.
                            Last edited by Betty3; 02-13-2016, 12:37 PM.
                            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                            Comment

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