Can my brother legally sue me for the cost of our mother’s funeral if he signed the contract?

UPDATED: Feb 10, 2012

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Can my brother legally sue me for the cost of our mother’s funeral if he signed the contract?

Deceased sister was the beneficiary on the insurance policies so he has been trying to get them to issue to him since he had power of attorney for my mother but the bill came due for the funeral and now he is trying to get me and my 2 sisters to pay the bill and him not pay anything. So he says he is going to start court proceedings. I just would like to know if that is legal since I didn’t sign anything?

Asked on February 10, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The fact that you are a person's child does not obligate you to pay for a funeral. If you did not agree to pay for your mother's funeral--either by signing the agreement with the funeral home, or by entering into some other agreement with your brother to reimburse him--you should not have to pay. Your brother could possibly seek reimbursement from your mother's estate, since final expenses (like funeral expenses) are expenses of the estate.

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