I don't spend a lot of time in diverse cemeteries, so I've only come
across this in one cemetery, a public**, that is, not religiously or
otherwise privately affiliated, but not free either, cemetery on E
67th st. in Chicago. I had a long talk with the manager of the
**The first public cemetery in the US was Green-wood, in the middle of
Brooklyn. but many of the people buried there are very far from poor,
judging by the elaborate stones and mausoleums. It " was the place
most famous New Yorkers who died during the second half of the
nineteenth century were buried. "
Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green-Wood_Cemetery for
I think it still has room, perhaps because Catholics and Jews and
some others, who make up a good portion of NYC, get buried in their
own respecitive religion's cemeteries.
He didn't. He said cremations were approx $500. That's why I asked
how he assumed the family had the money laying around and didn't need
help with the costs.
That's good info on embalming fluid but how does it compare to what is
released into the atmosphere with a cremation? What cost to the
environment is there to create the energy necessary for the cremation?
I still don't see any proof that one is better than the other.
Guess again. My prepaid cremation with minimum add-ons
(notifications, obit, etc) started at $750 Mbut it didn't buy then.
Several years later I did and it was then $1700. I wouild presume it
is even higher now.
YMMV Here's an "$800" cremation that will actually run closer to
$1500 once all the fees are paid.
While I'm all for an inexpensive funeral, we went to the cheapest guy
in town, opted for cremation, bought an urn from a private party, had
no burial expense & it was about 2 grand. [and next month's
Celebration of Life will be $2-3K more- but she, and her friends,
My biggest shock was that our local papers get $300 to run a standard
That is $300 I'll be saving. The few people to notify will be on the
phone. Services (very minimal) will be private. No need to tell a
bunch of strangers that one of us passed.
If you don't care enough to keep in touch now, I don't care enough to
tell you that I'm gone.
I know a guy that took his wife's casket from the funeral home to the
cemetery in the back of his pickup truck. I think some states have
laws about transporting bodies though.
Very interesting. I thought it was free, so now I'll have to check on
When my mother died, the funeral home asked what I wanted to say, and
I couldn't concentrate in general, and I was in a rush in addition,
because I had to make a lot of phone calls and catch the 2PM plane.
Afterwards, I found out the paper wouldn't print an obituary several
IF the paper charged, and that's a big if, I don't think I was going
to be charged extra, which means t he mortuary saved whatever money it
cost by my not doing anything. This would be one more in a line of
things the mortuary did wrong, one of which was illegal.
I will call the paper on Monday.
My mother didn't know many people here, and since the funeral was out
of town, no one she or I knew here would have gone, but still, if the
mortuary screwed me over again.....
The funeral industry lobbies hard, legally and I'll bet illegally, to
get laws t hat help it.
It depends totally upon the paper. Locally (central Florida), the paper
will run a small obit free. By "small" I mean one column inch. Bigger than
that you pay.
And I'm quite sure that no paper in the country will run one of those
lengthy obits with a 2 column photo of the recently departed in all his
glory as a WW2 soldier for free.
Most have a very generic one for free usually just name of croakee,
date of death, funeral home and times. Those that I have seen run about
1/2 column inch. Some papers, especially in smaller towns, still do the
big runs for free.
America is at that awkward stage. It's too late
to work within the system, but too early to shoot
That my first instinct. Luckily a friend and my daughter over-ruled
me. My wife spent most of her 65 years making friends. She was a
psychiatric nurse for 30 years in a state hospital, then taught for a
while, then went to another hospital so she could be on the floor
again-- then she landed what to her was the dream job. . . County
Mental health visiting nurse. She only got to do it for 6 months,
it was 1/2 the pay that she was getting in the hospital, and 3 times
the work. But it was pure 'save-the-world' crap that she lived for.
Along the way she made a pile of friends that I never met. Many of
them reached out when they saw the obit. One that she went to
nursing school with 40 years ago and recognized her smile. [from the
photo that my daughter insisted I include and pay extra for<g>]
That'll work when I go-- and the kids will be able to throw a party
for $40, too.<g>
Just wondering, in the USA, is there any _legal obligation_ to post a
public obituary notice in a newspaper?
Does doing so fulfill any legal obligations, or prevent legal
entanglements for the estate later on?
No. But I was surprised how often a creditor, or business will take
the obit as proof of death. [or at least give them the dates in print
to send them to the Social Security Death index-- or let them kick the
paperwork to the 'estate' department]
No obligation, just the departed's 15 minutes of fame. The family might find
some benefit simply from the recognition; the Nigerian scammers benefit by
harvesting them. Bible salesmen used to benefit too.
My *guess* is that the funeral home agreed to be the 'collector' of
the funds. They don't actually say 'funeral expenses' so it might be
for medical expenses.
My wife died last month. The lawyer was explaining about some of the
debts she incurred and mentioned that in NY, the first people to get a
cut of the estate are the lawyer and the funeral home. I'm not
surprised that the lawyer lobby was able to get that law passed-- but
did they need the funeral home lobby to help?
After they get their *full* payment, the rest gets divvied up amongst
If the decessed had a will and it's a typical uncontested estate,
isn't a need for a lawyer, at least not here in
NJ. The exectutor can go over to the county surrogate's office, file
some simple paperwork that they will help you with and then the
executor can pay off the bills, distribute the assets, pay any taxes,
etc. It's not rocket science. I did it on two estates and it saved
many thousands on lawyer fees. The fees beyond that are just
a few bucks. And the typical lawyer shyster takes a cut based
on the value of the estate, not the actual time/work involved. The
work is minimal. It doesn't take any longer to deal with a bank
account that has $200K in it than it does for one that has $2K.
As for the original question, it seems the family has limited
resources. So, while what they are doing seems unusual, I
see nothing wrong with it. It seems like the cost would be a
hardship on them and while they could probably bear the cost
themselves, they might have to pay it off over time, etc. This
way it would help them.
And I would trust the typical funeral home to do the right thing.
Yeah, they could cheat you. But one thing preventing them is
that most people are going to send checks. And the funeral
homes always send evidence of who sent flowers, donations,
etc to the family so that they can send thank you cards. Any
funeral home folks know that if they tried to pocket the money,
Aunt Edith doesn't get a thank you note, and decides to start
talking about it to other relatives, they didn't get a note, but
Uncle Eddy who sent flowers did, etc, they could be easily
found out to be thieves.
I think you are mis-reading the request. I take it to mean...
1. instead of sending flowers, send a check for an equivalent amount to the
2. the funeral home will deduct that from our bill
Seems clear to me. No mention of the funeral home assuming expenses, the
operative word is "help", .
Of course, all could have been avoided via cremation...around here, that
costs $600-$700 including everything, even picking up the corpse. No burial
ground, no "opening and closing", no vault, no casket, no <ugh> viewing, no
<also ugh> embalming. Clean, neat and inexpensive.
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