2 answers | Last updated: Oct 08, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

If a wife leaves her husband & children & they have been estranged for 5 years, who is responsible for the funeral costs when the wife dies?

Expert Answers

Ed Markin, BS, MBA, PhD, is the director of research for the Alzheimer's Disease Research Foundation and author of more than a dozen books. For the past 15 years, Markin has operated the Funeral Help Program.

You asked "If the wife leaves her husband and kids and stays estranged for five years then dies, who is responsible for her funeral costs?" That is a good question and the answer will likely depend on what actions, if any, you have taken in her absence. Typically funeral expenses are the responsibility of the NEXT OF KIN and, if not yet divorced, that could well be the husband regardless of the length of separation.

The next of kin is also usually responsible for the arrangements and there could be an 'out' there. A court may well find that whoever signed and authorized the contract for whatever arrangements were made, if without the consent of the next of kin, should be responsible for payment, but in today's legal climate where 'justice' rarely equates to 'law' you'll need a lawyer to assist with this one. Since there are no specifics given in this one (is it hypothetical or has death already occurred?) I suggest you contact a family law attorney and sort this out.

Community Answers

Mraf answered...

The death has actually occurred. Thank you for your reply.