What needs to be done with a check from funeral home made payable to an estate?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What needs to be done with a check from funeral home made payable to an estate?

My mom died without a Will and no assets. I thought that we would have to rely on Medicaid which

we did not and cancelled, so I did a pre-pay to the funeral home from her life insurance policy of which I was the beneficiary of. The funeral was less than we planned and now I have a check made out to the estate of my mother. When I cash, what’s the intent of that money? Can I give it to church in her honor?

Asked on April 28, 2018 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The money belongs to the estate and should be distributed as would any other money in the estate. If there is no will, it goes to her children in equal shares (we assume that she did not have a living spouse at the time she passed away, as you do not mention one). If you are her only surviving child, it would become yours in its entirety. The recipients of the money can then do whatever they like with it, including donating to a church in her honor.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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