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Tricky question. Mom died last year, she was to inherit from an estate from my
Uncle. She dies before that. So, my brother and I split her portion. Now, another
Uncle is asking for money for her funeral we haven’t seen her in over 10 years,
never close. Shouldn’t that have been taken from her portion of the estate? Are
we legally obligated to do anything? She had no will…. Thanks
Asked on August 31, 2016 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
It is an expense of her estate, so it should have been paid from her estate prior to distributing the money from the estate. So say it as $10,000 and the total estate (and ignoring any other debts of hers) was $50,000; then the $10,000 should have come off the top of her estate, leaving $40,000 to be split between you and your brother. Since you received $10,000 less split between the two of you, you each received $5,000 less in this example.
If you instead took the money from the estate before paying this expense, it should still come out of your respective shares: so you should each have to pay $5,000 of the cost, which is the same as if the money had been paid upfront before the estate was distributed.
So it is an estate debt, and one that must be paid from the estate. If you took the money from the estate before paying, you have to repay that portion which would be your "share" of the funeral cost.