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GeorgetownLawyr, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12049
Experience:  Experience in Probate matters, including will contests and civil litgation related to estates.
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Can a person request reimbursement from an estate for monies

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Can a person request reimbursement from an estate for monies they spent on their father's
memorial service? Even though the father stated in his will that he disinherited that person?
Hello and thank you for using our service. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help you. I just ask for you to ask any additional questions you may have if you feel the question has not been answered. Also, IF I have bad news for you, please remember I am only the messenger, I will try my best to give you a solution, but sometimes the law does not have a good one.

Just curious as to why the disinherited person paid the funeral expenses?
Was it a situation that no one else could pay?
What state is this in?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I don't know why this person felt he had to pay for the memorial service.

Actually there were 4 boys (who he disinherited) and 1 girl (who he left

1/2 of his estate too) I am the other half.

This is the state of Washington

Ok, thanks. As to the lawyer you spoke to do you mean he was too expensive because the consultation cost too much? or to hire him after the consultation was too expensive? Also, what was his opinion?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The consultation was free. He was going to be to expensive for his fees.


He suggested I write them a letter and ask for an itemized account of their costs so, I did. That was when I found out that they were asking

for the reimbursement of the memorial services. I took the letter and showed it to him and he said "That they can not ask for the reimbursement for funeral expenses from the estate.

Ok, thanks. The father should have had a provision for funeral expenses in the will. Typically funeral expenses take priority over all creditor claims. So the estate administrator is typically instructed to pay for funeral expenses in the will. That is why I don't get why this person paid for them. So had the administrator paid for the funeral expenses there would be no question, that the estate had to pay for that expense.

When it is a debt of the deceased person it is subject to creditor claims and this expense is not in that category. Here is what Washington State law says:

"A debt that accrues as a result of the death of the decedent, ie funeral and burial expenses, or that accrues thereafter as an expense of administration is not against 'the deceased', and a claim need not be filed in order for the [Personal Representative] to be authorized to pay a claim of this character." Estate of Wilson, 8 Wn.App. 519, 525 (1973); see also Estate of Armstrong, 33 Wn.2d 118 (1949). If the Decedent is survived by a spouse or domestic partner, funeral expenses are a community debt, payable one-half by each. Wittwer v. Pemberton, 188 Wash. 72 (1936); Estate of Lang, 97 Fed.2d 867 (9th Cir 1938).

So if the deceased person had a wife, the funeral expense would be half payable by her and the other half would be an expense of the deceased person. The estate administrator/personal representative can certainly decide to reimburse for the funeral expense because in all fairness the estate would have had to pay them and they should be provided for in the will. The estate administrator decides but the way it was done complicates it and makes it not a debt of the estate and therefore harder for this person to make a claim. I hope this helps clarify.

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