If my partner was still married to the woman he left 13 years ago when he died, who pays for his funeral?

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If my partner was still married to the woman he left 13 years ago when he died, who pays for his funeral?

He had no assets.

Asked on May 5, 2011 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Technically, when someone passes away, the estate of the decedent is responsible for the debts and the funeral debt has priority (generally).  But in reality the funeral parlor or place that is making the arrangements, will ask the party making the funeral arrangements to sign a note of sorts to pay for the funeral.  That is where things can get sticky.  Who is making the arrangements here? You or his wife?  I can see how you are thinking through the "legalities" of the situation but you can not bind her to pay for something she did not agree to.  This is not an easy place to be at this difficult time. Try and come to resolution befitting of the decedent.  Good luck. 


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