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John Elder
John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
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If a man dies and his wife has no insurance policy but his

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If a man dies and his wife has no insurance policy but his mother does, can the mother make the funeral decisions since it is her policy paying for the funeral service?
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

The wife has the right to make the funeral decisions. However, the wife is also responsible to pay for the funeral. There is no legal obligation that the mother has to use the insurance money to pay for the funeral.

Unfortunately, this means that if the wife wants help from the mother to pay for the insurance then they are going to have to listen to what the mother wants. If the wife wants to pay for everything then she has no obligation to listen to the mother.

I cannot provide you with legal advise. I have provided you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you find online, should not take the place of having a consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

For clarifity,


If the mother did use her insurance to pay because there was no other way to burry her son and she paid for him to be burried in a cakset and the wife wants him cremated but has no money to do so. Who does the funeral gome listen to, the wife with no money or the mother?


Practically, the mother. While the wife has the legal right to make the decision she has to be able to pay for what she chooses. If she cannot pay then how can she choose anything? A funeral home is not required to do any work without being paid.
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