Author Topic: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?  (Read 7816 times)

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Bottlecaps

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Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« on: March 20, 2013, 04:38:06 PM »
I've seen this crop up more than once over my lifetime, and I just recently started wondering what the general consensus on the etiquette of it is. Here recently, a friend of mine from high school's grandmother passed away. It was rather quick and unexpected (diagnosed with cancer in December, died in February), and soon after the services, I began seeing my friend post on Facebook asking for donations to help her family cover the funeral expenses. I must say I don't really have an opinion for nor against it, as I can see both sides of the situation. It's generally considered crass and/or tacky to solicit money, but I got to thinking that a funeral may be a bit of a different story. After all, funerals are quite expensive and it doesn't help matters when the family doesn't necessarily have the means to cover it (especially when it's something unexpected). What are your opinions? Like I said, I don't really have one either way, but it's just something I was wondering about.
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MorgnsGrl

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Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2013, 04:40:40 PM »
I think that while it's less than ideal, it's understandable. As long as the requests are polite and limited, I'm okay with it.

QueenfaninCA

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Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2013, 04:44:10 PM »
I think it is tacky, unless a family loses several family members suddenly and unexpectedly at once. Families should have plans and savings in place for the eventual funeral of grandparents or scale down the funeral to what they can afford. Also life insurances exist.

daen

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Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 04:52:06 PM »
In my neck of the woods, there's usually an announcement of the funeral/memorial service date and time. Most times, the last line indicates where donations can be made "in lieu of flowers."  Occasionally, I hear announcements that the donations will be directed to a fund set up to defray funeral expenses.

Sadly, the usefulness of life insurance is not widely understood in certain quarters where I live.

RubyCat

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Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2013, 04:52:45 PM »
Where I came from, a family would never personally solicit donations but a friend or group of friends might choose to do so. It could be a simple as a collection jar on the counter at the corner store or maybe even holding a fundraiser (aka a "time" as they were called). Usually, donations were sought if somebody had had a lengthy illness and the money would help pay expenses or left a young family or lost all of their belongings in a house fire. I suppose Facebook changes things, but I've never seen somebody fund raise for themselves.

CookieChica

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Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2013, 06:32:57 PM »
I think it is tacky, unless a family loses several family members suddenly and unexpectedly at once. Families should have plans and savings in place for the eventual funeral of grandparents or scale down the funeral to what they can afford. Also life insurances exist.

Yeah but I certainly don't have a life insurance policy out on my parents or grandparents. I trust they have their own insurance like my husband and I do.

QueenfaninCA

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Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2013, 06:51:21 PM »
I think it is tacky, unless a family loses several family members suddenly and unexpectedly at once. Families should have plans and savings in place for the eventual funeral of grandparents or scale down the funeral to what they can afford. Also life insurances exist.

Yeah but I certainly don't have a life insurance policy out on my parents or grandparents. I trust they have their own insurance like my husband and I do.

Why trust them when you can ask them? I know, it's not the most fun subject to discuss, but unless you wouldn't have trouble at all paying for their funeral I think it wouldn't hurt to discuss this with them.

cheyne

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Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2013, 06:57:02 PM »
If the deceased is a child or young adult without life insurance I have no problem with friends or (non-immediate) relatives asking for donations.

Several years ago we had a 19 y.o. man at Company who died suddenly from a brain aneurysm.  He had no life insurance, his parents had substance abuse issues and no money, so his older Brother (with a wife and 3 kids) was stuck paying for the funeral.  The Brother (who also worked at Company) had to take out a $10K loan before the funeral parlor would even speak with him since there was no life insurance.  Company took up a collection for funeral expenses.  We were able to collect over $4000. for the funeral (which went a long way toward paying the loan).

I do want to add that Brother never asked one person for a dime, he was willing to take on this debt for his younger brother to have a "proper funeral".  Company and employees gathered the money on their own.



CaffeineKatie

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Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2013, 07:02:36 PM »
I agree funerals are sometimes unexpected, but like a wedding, you can tailor the event to fit your purse, so to speak.  We recently had a local youth die unexpectedly of undiagnosed heart problems.  The mother is very poor, and left with her teenager's children to support. HOWEVER, she planned a funeral worthy of King Tut, and expected companies to donate services and/or the general public to donate for this, since he had had a "troubled life".  She had done the same thing for her mother several years ago, and still owed money for that extravaganza.  When the local funeral home refused to go along with her plans, the local paper wrote a very negative article about the funeral home's lack of charity!  No money=basic funeral.

Sharnita

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Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2013, 07:16:49 PM »
Even a "basic" funeral ca be expensive, especially when there can also be paperwork, medical costs, etc. connected to the death.

BarensMom

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Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2013, 07:17:54 PM »
It was common in my mother's family and friends (from Tennessee) to "pass the hat" before funerals.  The last time I remember hearing about it, though, was around the time of my grandfather's funeral in 1964.

There's nothing wrong in asking for donations in certain cases (such as extreme poverty), as long as "no" is accepted without question or reproach.  Planning a fancy send-off based upon the expectation that someone else is going to foot the bill - nope.

nuit93

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Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2013, 07:19:58 PM »
Even a "basic" funeral ca be expensive, especially when there can also be paperwork, medical costs, etc. connected to the death.

This ^^

Even a super-basic, cardboard box cremation can get up to $1k in cost depending on where you are.

Sharnita

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Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2013, 07:22:41 PM »
And when I was bored I priced a Costco casket - $800 .  That was before taxes, without delivery, no plot, no vault ...

(Obviously no stone, no cemetary upkeep, no funeral service)


Even the cost of death certificates can add up.

« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 07:26:32 PM by Sharnita »

RubyCat

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Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2013, 07:41:10 PM »
We buried FIL this past weekend. It cost $3,000 to have the grave opened. I know it would have cost less if he'd been buried on a weekday but not sure how much less.  My in laws had funds set aside for final expenses but I can imagine a family being caught off guard by the various expenses.

Somebody once told me that people sometimes include money in sympathy cards, knowing that expenses can accumulate quickly and life insurance, if there is any, can take a while to come through. Has anyone else ever heard of this?

hobish

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Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2013, 07:46:34 PM »
Where I came from, a family would never personally solicit donations but a friend or group of friends might choose to do so. It could be a simple as a collection jar on the counter at the corner store or maybe even holding a fundraiser (aka a "time" as they were called). Usually, donations were sought if somebody had had a lengthy illness and the money would help pay expenses or left a young family or lost all of their belongings in a house fire. I suppose Facebook changes things, but I've never seen somebody fund raise for themselves.

That is what i am used to seeing, as well. Recently my department collected something in the range of $400 for a well-loved coworker who had a family member die unexpectedly. It was extremely sad (baby died after an illness and emergency surgery they thought would save him). It was all done through a few short quick emails: this is what happened, this is what we're doing, this is who to see if you want to contribute. My eyes are leaky just thinking about it.
Way back when my house burned down people did that for me, too. I had Nothing. I mean, the clothes on my back (sans shoes) and whatever was in my Hundai at the time, and that was the extent of my worldly posessions. People came to me with not just cash, but clothes, and even a few stuffed animals. People i didn't even knew cared did some really touching things. I don't know about the etiquette of it, except i am sure no one was pressured; and some 20 years later i still have a little more faith in humanity because of it.

...sorry that got all long and stuff. I tried to edit it down. I get sensitive  :-[ can't even type w/o crying.
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