Author Topic: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?  (Read 8791 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Mikayla

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4086
Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #45 on: March 22, 2013, 04:34:16 PM »
For me, the dividing line is whether the request for cash is coming from the person wanting it or someone doing it on their behalf.  I will never respond well to people asking others to give them cash on FB.  But if someone is trying to help another family out, this hits me very differently, even if I can't really articulate why.

Bottlecaps

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 253
Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #46 on: March 22, 2013, 04:36:56 PM »
As far as being tacky, if we eliminated everything that could be tacky from facebook ...

Right on! :)

For me, the dividing line is whether the request for cash is coming from the person wanting it or someone doing it on their behalf.  I will never respond well to people asking others to give them cash on FB.  But if someone is trying to help another family out, this hits me very differently, even if I can't really articulate why.

Just a guess, but maybe it's because if they're asking for it for themselves, it comes across as "gimme," whereas if they're asking for it for another family or a friend, and don't have a personal stake in it themselves, it comes across as just them trying to help another person. :)
"Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes." -Tori Amos


mmswm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2414
Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #47 on: March 22, 2013, 05:20:20 PM »
I don't have an issue with soliciting donations in general, but some ways that I've seen people go about it can be tacky.

Also, you can't always assume that the "fancy" funerals are the result of people making irresponsible decisions.  When my uncle died, my parents were in a bad spot financially (most of their liquid funds were tied up in a rather large lawsuit).  My mother wanted to put on a decent funeral, and even managed to overcome her own negative feelings about cremation because that was the least expensive way to do it.  She also wanted to make sure that at least a portion of the services were public, because he was very well loved in his city.  As mom was making phone calls, one of the priests she'd contacted called her and told her she had to call a specific funeral director back ASAP.  The owner of this funeral home had offered to pay for the entire service.  Mom and I went to make all the necessary decisions, and every time mom tried to say something like "oh, this looks expensive", the owner fussed at her and reminded her that she was not allowed to consider cost. My uncle wound up with a far more extravagant funeral than mom would have ever planned on her own, including the use of the home's chauffeured limo for both days of the services (an expense my parents would never have sprung for, but the owner insisted on).
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

Redneck Gravy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2779
Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #48 on: March 22, 2013, 05:30:18 PM »
To mmswm

I agree with the "fanciness" of funerals being unknown to the public also. 

When my parents died just 5 weeks apart, we had not settled Mom's part and were not sure what funds there would be to cover Dad's immediately after.  My brother and I decided to forgo the limo and use Dad's suburban to haul our immediate family from the house to the funeral home and on to the cemetery.   The funeral director called the house and said he would provide that at no charge, that Dad deserved it for all he had done in our community.  That touched me knowing the unethical methods of some funeral homes.  He also told us immediately that we could pay out the remaining balance while the estate was settled - which took many months to do. 

mmswm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2414
Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #49 on: March 22, 2013, 05:43:14 PM »
Slightly off-topic, but something I just remembered that I thought was incredibly sweet:

There's a cemetery in Texas that has a whole section dedicated to children.  The reason for this is that a older, childless couple, before they died, purchased the entire section, then had it appointed with several beautiful statues and a large, lovely fountain.  They then set up a trust fund to be used exclusively for the funerals of children that came from families who could not afford funeral expenses. When the couple died, they left the vast majority of their estate to that trust fund.  I've always thought that was one of the sweetest, yet saddest things I've ever heard.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

nuit93

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1224
Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #50 on: March 22, 2013, 06:10:19 PM »
I know the difference between eating and not - but quite honestly you can buy a burial policy for a few dollars per month and know that this has been taken care of.

You know one thing for certain in your life and that is death...why leave a mess for someone else to pay for?

I know a woman and her husband committed suicide while their children were pre-teens.  He had cancelled his life insurance just prior to his death and she was suddenly on one income with a funeral to pay for and two young children to raise.  I have to think that was deliberately cruel and selfish.  She did not discover this information until weeks later.  There was no advertised fund raising but several of us that knew what was going on pitched into a fund that was given to her later and often pitched a few dollars her way prior to Christmas for the next several years.  I can't imagine the guts it would take to post that kind of information on FaceBook?  But I would still think it was tacky.

I could be mistaken, but I thought most life insurance policies wouldn't pay out in the event of suicide?

QueenfaninCA

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 760
Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #51 on: March 22, 2013, 06:18:30 PM »
I could be mistaken, but I thought most life insurance policies wouldn't pay out in the event of suicide?

Only if the suicide happened soon after getting the policy.

*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #52 on: March 22, 2013, 07:27:13 PM »
I don't think it is tacky to put in the obituary that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the family (and it is generally understood that it is to defray any remaining medical/funeral expenses).  But to solicit after the funeral on facebook for donations comes across as tacky and I would find myself privately wondering if someone wasn't possibly scamming for money.  When my nephew died very suddenly and unexpectedly, my brother had it written in the obituary that people could either make donations to the Epilepsy Foundation or to a bank account set up by a family friend.  We all pitched in to help him pay for the funeral (he could not get affordable life insurance due to his epilepsy) and we kept it as basic as we could while still making sure this wonderful young man was honored.  My bro made sure to pay us back with the donations then donated the rest to the foundation and CORE, but the only time it was ever mentioned was in the obituary...no one solicited. 

And on the subject of suicide & insurance, my understanding was that it was not paid out on unless you lived in Maryland where they have a law about it.
To Redneck, yes, you would think most people, especially the elderly would have made plans and have paid for it, but younger people usually don't think to do it until it becomes too late.  My former husband died suddenly at age 50 3 weeks ago and he had nothing in place.  My Longtime SO died almost 2 years ago suddenly at 43, he had insurance for his 3 kids to get some money but nothing for burial.  It is something I believe should be talked about openly in families so at the worst moment of your life, you are not having to deal with how to plan and pay for a funeral of someone you just lost.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21685
Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #53 on: March 22, 2013, 07:34:15 PM »
As far as the family doing it themselves or somebody doing it for them, I seem to be in the minority but I am not bothered by the family doing it directly and actually thonk there could be some advantage to knowing that they are the ones the money really is going to.

Bottlecaps

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 253
Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #54 on: March 22, 2013, 09:53:31 PM »
I could be mistaken, but I thought most life insurance policies wouldn't pay out in the event of suicide?

Only if the suicide happened soon after getting the policy.

I remember when I had life insurance at my old job (I know, very bad of me to not have it now :-/....), the terms and conditions stated specifically that it wouldn't pay out in the event of suicide at all. That was in West Virginia though, and as PP mentioned, some states such as Maryland have different laws regarding such things.
Slightly off-topic, but something I just remembered that I thought was incredibly sweet:

There's a cemetery in Texas that has a whole section dedicated to children.  The reason for this is that a older, childless couple, before they died, purchased the entire section, then had it appointed with several beautiful statues and a large, lovely fountain.  They then set up a trust fund to be used exclusively for the funerals of children that came from families who could not afford funeral expenses. When the couple died, they left the vast majority of their estate to that trust fund.  I've always thought that was one of the sweetest, yet saddest things I've ever heard.

That is positively beautiful! I can feel myself starting to well up a bit (and I'm not easily overcome with emotion).
"Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes." -Tori Amos


Redneck Gravy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2779
Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #55 on: March 25, 2013, 12:07:29 PM »
I agree, it should be discussed openly so someone knows what the budget is and where to look for the policies and any other info that has to be dealt with immediately.

I have written plans and both of my children have copies; in addition to my will and medical directive on file at the hospital.   I am an organ donor and plan to donate my body to science as a cadaver.  I told my kids to throw a big party have a nice memorial service and split the rest, it's not a huge amount but it is enough to help them get a good start in life.


 

 

reflection5

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 436
Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #56 on: March 25, 2013, 01:13:08 PM »
Quote
he had insurance for his 3 kids to get some money but nothing for burial.

Most life insurance companies have a way that a policyholder can assign something called a collateral.  It’s a pretty simple form to be filled out and it designates a funeral home to be paid first, then the beneficiary or Beneficiaries are paid the remainder.  Funeral homes are used to dealing with these and they are happy to assist the family (since they (the funeral home) knows they will get their money.  It is taken care of quickly, and does not go thru probate.  (Of course, premiums must be current/paid.)

I found this out several years ago when I was helping someone take care of things immediately after a relative died.  It was actually pretty easy.  The deceased had made a few people aware of the arrangement and the necessary papers, contact information were easily found.

But in order to take care of this in advance, the policyholder must make the change in the beneficiary form and sign the collateral agreement.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 01:19:49 PM by reflection5 »

hobish

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18187
  • Release the gelfling!
Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #57 on: March 25, 2013, 07:32:57 PM »
Hobish, I had a student whose house burned down.  She and her family were able to stay with relatives but I went out and got her a toothbrush, pillow, change of clothes, towel and washcloth of her own immediately.  They just seemed likethe things I'd want if I was displaced and needed something of my own.

I bet she will remember that for the rest of her life, too. That is very thoughtful.
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

flowersintheattic

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 641
Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #58 on: March 25, 2013, 08:33:44 PM »
The times I've seen solicitations for donations for funeral expenses have been in situations where the death was either unexpected or where there was a drawn out illness and therefore a lot of medical expenses that need to be paid as well. Most of the time, sad to say, it's a child who's died.

I also usually don't see requests for straight-up donations, though. What seems to be common around here are fundraising events. When my cousin's daughter died (she was 13 and the death was a suicide, so it was very unexpected), they had a fundraiser at a bar owned by a friend. The bar donated a keg of beer, and organizers (my aunt - the child's grandmother - and friends of the family) provided bbq, chips, etc. The suggested donation was $10, which got you unlimited food, pop, and free beer. (There was also a cash bar, but that money did not go to the family.) I've seen notices of similar types of fundraisers for funeral and medical expenses, and I really don't think there's anything wrong with them. The people who donate are getting something in return, which is always a bonus, and they tend to happen in situations where it's a large, unexpected expense that the family probably couldn't otherwise handle.
...I learned my lesson / And yes, I still remember the last one / But this time will be different / Until I do it again... ~Phish, "Kill Devil Falls"

reflection5

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 436
Re: Soliciting donations for funeral expenses?
« Reply #59 on: March 25, 2013, 08:40:22 PM »
Hobish, I had a student whose house burned down.  She and her family were able to stay with relatives but I went out and got her a toothbrush, pillow, change of clothes, towel and washcloth of her own immediately.  They just seemed likethe things I'd want if I was displaced and needed something of my own.

I bet she will remember that for the rest of her life, too. That is very thoughtful.

What a great idea, Sharnita!  So practical, thoughtful, and gracious.  :)