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Old 04-15-2007, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Missouri
6,045 posts, read 22,857,276 times
Reputation: 5146

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Yes, as long as the debts are only in your sister-in-law's name, no one is legally obligated to pay them back. So the bills are not an issue.

IMO the $10k should be used for the funeral. I understand her parents don't have much and could use the money for themselves, but to me it is distasteful to profit from someone's death.
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Old 04-15-2007, 01:19 PM
 
192 posts, read 830,671 times
Reputation: 233
I'm not sure why, but something about this question seems a bit distasteful to me. But then, wrangling over the handling of someone's assets after death always does.

I agree with those who say that the deceased daughter's debts are not the legal responsibility of her parents'; however, the parents may feel morally obligated to pay some of them. If so, that's entirely up to them.

As to whether the money should go toward the funeral or for the benefit of the parents, in my opinion that depends on the relationship the daughter had with her parents. Dingler doesn't mention that in his post. However, if they had a mutually close relationship then I believe the daughter would have wanted her life insurance proceeds to directly benefit her parents in some way. Spending most or all of it on a fancy funeral would not "benefit" them in a practical sense, and it certainly won't "benefit" the deceased at all!

Funerals are indeed only for the living, and 'fancy' ones can be motivated by either love or guilt, depending on the situation....

Since the daughter was battling cancer for years, I'm surprised that she didn't have a will, or at least leave some kind of letter expressing her wishes regarding a funeral and the disposition of the life insurance since that was one thing the creditors cannot touch.
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Old 04-15-2007, 02:00 PM
 
3,020 posts, read 24,801,762 times
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Default If you want to really understand the issues about funerals

Americans feel the way they do about funerals in part because of a ongoing campaign to make you feel that way. It is a bit like the diamond industry. Peeps believe the way they do because they have been carefully taught.

If you want to understand a lot of the messages and methods used read the book by Jessica Mitford - The American Way of Death. Is not a new subject nor book, been going on a long time. The industry knows how to make you feel the way you do and sure knows how to take care of its own. They even have gotten some of the Amish to now use their services.

http://etude.uoregon.edu/autumn2004/books/death.html
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Old 04-15-2007, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Lakeland, FL
523 posts, read 2,714,029 times
Reputation: 188
Dont pay any of the CC debt, have a nice funeral and give rest to her parents. CC companies are crooks.
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Old 04-15-2007, 05:43 PM
 
3,774 posts, read 10,487,584 times
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There is a saying, "Death forgives all debts". True or not, unless the parents cosigned for her credit cards, they cannot be forced to pay for them. Medical debts may be another matter.
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Old 04-15-2007, 06:19 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
5,297 posts, read 6,013,068 times
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My husband and I were talking about what we would like done with our bodies once we expire,we both would like to be creamated as it is cheaper. He wants some of his ashes in space as he is a big space fan Star Trek,Battle Star Galactica...yada yada. Well they have it where it is possible to take ashes into space and it is cheap starting at $495 http://www.memorialspaceflights.com/
Then we figured mix a small amount of our ashes together and put them on a tropical island somewhere under a palm tree.
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Old 04-15-2007, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
2,071 posts, read 11,557,255 times
Reputation: 1779
Use the 10K for a "memorial for the living" service. You are not obligated to pay the debts. My F-I-L passed away, and we were not harrassed by creditors. We simply said he was deceased.
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Old 04-15-2007, 06:36 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
5,297 posts, read 6,013,068 times
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Quote:
My F-I-L passed away, and we were not harrassed by creditors. We simply said he was deceased.
When my mom died I received a few debts of hers in the mail,I wrote deceased and sent them back,never heard anything after that and that was in 1993.
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Coachella Valley, California
15,607 posts, read 38,717,813 times
Reputation: 13405
If the deceased expressed her desire to have a funeral, then I guess she should get the funeral. Just my two cents, but I would opt for the cremation. That lady isn't laying in that box anyway! Her soul has gone somewhere else. When my brother was killed we had him cremated. We did not have a funeral. Everyone came over to my parents house and we all cried together, shared stories about my brother and had some food. It meant more to all of us to get together in an informal setting and remember him than to have to get dressed up and go to a funeral.
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:03 PM
 
Location: SE Florida
9,368 posts, read 23,928,578 times
Reputation: 9426
I agree with myfask and leaving- the parents should give her the funeral that they want her to have. 10k won't buy a very fancy funeral, but if they want to spend it on that, it would be money well-spent.
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