If my father died, can my sister an I use his small savings to pay for a cremation and possibly a small funeral?

And maybe to help defray our mounting travel costs since we live out of state? He was a veteran, had no life insurance or Will but did have a very small savings account (about 1-2K) and a car worth 2k (no other assets). We don’t know about creditors yet. Do we need to wait for some time period and possibly give any creditors first dibs? My sister and I have financially struggling families of our own, and now are struggling with the enormity of how to proceed while all the while trying to grieve his loss.

Asked on March 8, 2014 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you can get the money from your late father's account to pay solely for his funeral expenses then you can do so since under the laws of all states in this country, burial expenses of a decedent take priority over any creditors claims.

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