Funerals are emotional times for surviving family and friends. And because talking about money in even normal situations can feel taboo in American culture, many people are even more hesitant to discuss money when planning for the memorial of a loved one. To help you get the answers you need, here are a few common finance-related funeral questions you may have already asked.
Who Pays for a Funeral?
Technically, the deceased person's body is part of their estate, so their sendoff is the purview of the estate as well. This puts the executor nominally in charge of planning and paying for it. However, many executors leave much of the decision-making for the funeral or memorial to the person's closest loved ones. As long as the costs remain within what the estate can afford, the executor may not have to get too involved.
What If You Want Different Things?
What happens if the estate doesn't have much money, the executor's vision doesn't match the family's, or individuals want to add their own elements? In this case, anyone can choose to pay for funeral or memorial service themselves. There is no moratorium on covering costs yourself. This can even resolve conflict within the family by allowing everyone to do what's most important to them.
Do You Tip Funeral Staff?
Tipping is common in service industries, but is it expected at the funeral? Yes and no. Generally, the funeral director and staff are not tipped as their services are part of the billed arrangements. You may choose to tip outside staff, such as caterers or flower delivery persons, if you would normally tip them at other events. A good rule of thumb is to tip anyone who doesn't send a bill for their services.
Should Anyone Give Money at the Funeral?
While giving monetary gifts is common at many family milestones, it's generally not appropriate for a funeral. However, there is an exception if the death left family members financially challenged. In this case, guests can make things less awkward by including money in cards to be opened later, donating to a fund, or paying for an expense directly. If the family suggests donating to a charity, guests should just mention their donation in a sympathy card.
Where to Learn More
Do you have more money-related questions revolving around funeral etiquette or preparations? Start by speaking with a funeral home in your area. You're undoubtedly not the first person to have any of these concerns. Funeral home staff can help you find answers to all your questions and contribute to a touching, appropriate memorial service for your loved one.Share
1 March 2022
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