Does my deceased mother will still have to be honored?

My mother passed away on March 5, 2018. The first thing it states in her Will that all her funeral expenses be paid by the sale of her home. However, her home is in foreclosure. Since in her Will it is the first thing listed, that her funeral be paid by the sale of her home which is in foreclosure. Will I and her son Jeff be paid back since I paid for my mother’s funetal in full? If so, what do I need to do, to get refunded for her funeral?

Asked on April 6, 2018 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Even if some property listed in the will is no longer available, or some provision (s) of the will cannot be fulfilled, the rest of the will must still be followed or honored. So the fact that the home is in foreclosure does not invalidate the will.
You have the right to be reimbursed for funeral expenses from your mother's estate--the assets, including money, she left behind. But if there is not enough to pay for the funeral, you will not be reimbursed; you can only be reimbursed through her estate. If there is little or no money available in the estate and few, if any, other assets, it may be that you will not be reimbursed.
If the home was foreclosed, then it will be sold in a foreclosure sale or auction. IF the sale brings in more money than is required to pay the costs of foreclosure and the sale and also pay off the mortgages, HELOCs, liens, etc., then the surplus money (if any) will go to your mother's estate and can be used to pay/reimburse for the funeral (and then anything left after that can go to her heirs).


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