can an executor of a will ask a beneficiary for money to pay for the funeral expenses?

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can an executor of a will ask a beneficiary for money to pay for the funeral expenses?

10,000 was in the deceased person’s bank account. The executor paid
the remaining balance of credit card bills, etc. and now says there is
no more money in the bank account to pay the mortuary bill. Now the
executor wants me to pay half of the bill. The TOD benefits have been
made to me.

Asked on March 22, 2019 under Estate Planning, Arizona

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A beneficiary is not responsible to pay for any bills or debts of the person from whom they are inheriting. An executor can ask for money but the beneficiary is under no legal obligation to pay it. That having been said, the executor can use estate funds to pay for such expenses to such extent that it is available.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

He can "ask"--anyone can ask--but you are not obligated to pay. Beneficiaries are not personally responsible for the deceased's bills, including funeral expenses. The executor can only require use of the estate's funds; when the estate's funds are used up or insufficient, the beneficiaries have no liability.


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