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Irresponsible parents and burial insurance

Started by joshskies, December 07, 2018, 06:49:56 AM

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My in-laws are 63 and 64. They're looking to retire but just started on their retirement funds. Their health isn't the greatest, and they work lower tier jobs ($15-18/hr) that don't provide good benefits. Long story short, there is no way they will be able to retire and even more so, they don't have enough assets to pay for final expenses. Sadly, the burden will fall on the kids and their respective families to fund this. Life is a cruel mistress. Being proactive, I want to prepare them and our family should the time come sooner than later.

Cremation can range from $4k-8k and a traditional funeral can be closer to $15k. Saving a hundred dollars per month will take the better part of 6 years until they can cover both of their final expenses on the cheap side. Prepaid funeral expenses are a scam and even more so difficult to use since you are limited to one establishment. Looking at burial insurance or a low dollar ($10-20k) term life insurance seems like the best option, but at this age, the costs can be significant. I've looked into many different companies with options I don't understand, nor can I find the most cost effective - no medical exam outfit to go with out there (AARP, Globe Life, Liberty, Prudential, etc...).

Any tips?


That is a difficult situation. How about your wife and her siblings pitching in? I haven't talked about cremation and burial costs yet. So I really have no idea except to pay out-of-pocket for my parents.



I had a relative in a similar situation (no $$ funds, permanent disability on SSI, etc.) who became terminally ill.  With a life expectancy of < 6 months and a FICO score still good enough to get a couple more credit cards,  the relative worked to get the highest credit/cash advance limits he could with the cards.  Within two months of his death,  the relative took all the cash advances he could from the cards and passed the cash over to a sibling to help defer funeral expenses when his death came.  Eventually the relative died. His sibling managed to cover most of the cremation/ memorial service costs from the money passed under the table from the cash advances.  The credit card company ended up eating the loss since it had nothing left to seize/garnish from a deceased, penniless person.  Despite it being an extreme, yet creative and perhaps questionably immoral act by the relative, his siblings sure appreciated what he did in the end.


My father died when I was a young adult with two small kids and dear spouse. (1989) It was all up to us and our meager assets.  No funeral, no flowers, a government provided basic headstone from his Army service. Had him cremated and his ashes interred on the funeral home's schedule (less expensive).  The funeral home prepared his body and they kindly dressed him in a suit since he had been so ill and we had no clothes that fit him (with a cutaway back as funeral home clothes are made).  They even cut his hair and styled it so he would look nice when we privately viewed his body (required to ID the body before cremation)  My dear spouse's dear grandmother gave us an extra plot she had so we had a place to rest his ashes, so we paid for a small vault for the cremains and to have it all put in the ground (again on the funeral home's schedule)
Grieving still happened, quietly and privately, and the bill (about $1100 back then) was paid.   We were responsible and respectful, and that made it okay.  I'm sure if some other family member had rules they felt like they needed us to follow, or had to have a funeral or certain flowers or tent and folding chairs or fancy clothes or a limo to take them to the cemetery, they could have stepped up.
It was good without all that.