Mother-in-law issues again


#1

I have written before about my MIL. Before it was that she was coming between my dh and I because she recently divorced and refused to sell her house and move into something more affordable, so my dh has given her money for groceries, etc. I would not mind except that I see her buying unnecessary things that are not needed.

Anyway, she is now behind about two months in her mortgage payments. Her house now needs a plumber to fix her kitchen sink and garbage disposal. She complains to my dh who feels sorry for her and wants to pay to have everything fixed. I told him to call his aunt, my MIL's sister, and when he did she even told him not to enable her that she is living beyond her means and is being stubborn by staying in that house. She needs to move into an apartment, but she refuses to do so. So for now, my dh is not going to pay her anything there, at least that I know of.

But the other day, she sent us both an email and in the subject section wrote, "Information you need to know." She said in the email how she has been thinking of her funeral arrangements and did not want to be a burden on us and that she has $1,200.00 in a savings acct. that she can't touch until her death and was going to put my dh has beneficiary. She wants us to use that money to pay for her cremation funeral. I talked it over with my dh and called funeral homes and that doesn't pay much. We would have to come up with thousands of dollars to pay the rest so she would be a burden on us. She does not have life insurance either for she mentioned that in the email. So the funeral home suggested that we bring her in to see if she can afford payments so that we would not have to pay for her funeral, she tells us that she can't afford that. Then we look into life insurance for her and found a cheap one that would be about $20.00 a month and cover the cost of the funeral and she tells us that she doesn't want to get life insurance and got upset at her son, my dh. What does she want us to do, pay for it all? The amount she will leave will not cover much. The house will most likely be taken from her by the bank so she can't even put that in my husband's name. She has nothing to leave us to pay for her funeral and then she wants her remains to be sent to Michigan. So we would have to pay for that too. So my dh and I are arguing over that.

Am I wrong? Should I just be quiet and pay for his mother's funeral when she dies and pay for the plane tickets for my dh to bring her remains to Michigan and be buried up there? I looked up the average cost of a cremation for today and it is $8,000.00 and we don't have that kind of money. My mom and dad have made their arrangements and made their wishes known. I don't know, nor my dh know, what my MIL wants after she dies. Does she want a funeral service at her church? We don't know for she won't talk about it. She can't handle stress well. I personally think she has a personality disorder for she was an abusive mother to her three sons and that is another thing, the other two sons will not help in the cost of the funeral. They made that very clear. She was not a good mother to them. The only reason my dh keeps in contact with her is because he is a good Catholic. She has changed a lot now in her older years, but she still can't handle stress and is very stubborn.

I don't know if by law we have to pay for her funeral if we are the only relatives nearby.:shrug:

Help, I don't want this coming between my dh and I. He doesn't handle stress well either. I don't need the stress either. If she would just work with us, life would be easier, but she is not.


#2

One of the corporal works of mercy is to bury the dead.

$8K seems like a lot, but if you put away money every month you can save towards that day when you do need to pay for her funeral. And, you never know, the siblings may change their mind when the time comes.

You can look into the possibility of taking out an insurance policy on her, talk to an insurance agent and explain the circumstances-- that she will not do anything to help herself and you will be responsible for her final arrangements. Just pay the $20/month yourself.

Your DH's aunt is right not to enable her when she is perfectly capable of selling her house, making different budget decisions, etc. But as for burial, honestly I can't imagine begrudging someone a Christian burial even if I had to take out a loan to accomplish it.


#3

Before her demise, where's she going to live?


#4

She's still very much alive and doesn't want to talk about it, so this is not something to argue about. As far as I know, there is no requirement that her heirs pay for expenses related to her death, only that her estate, whatever it is, pay for those expenses before the estate is passed on to her heirs. She sent you a note about the existence of a bank account which might be needed for this purpose: fine. Your DH knows about it. He has no guarantee that any of that money will still be there when she dies, but he knows about it. Leave it at that.

Most of the expenses related to a typical funeral are entirely elective. If she wants a particular type of funeral, she'll provide for it herself. She'll tell you what she feels you need to know, she'll pay for what she has to have. If you have asked and left the door open to talk about it, and she doesn't want to do that, then respect her wish to leave you in the dark and plan her funeral according to what you think is fitting if you are left to do that. If she dies without having provided for her funeral, well, time will tell what she will get. It will depend on what the people left behind need in order to mourn her and remember her as they see fit, because it obviously wasn't something that she saw a need to provide for. Cross that bridge when you come to it, if you come to it. You may be independently wealthy by then. She may yet outlive you all, and it won't ever be your problem. As the Lord said, sufficient for the day are its own troubles. It is pointless to suffer a fate that has not befallen you.

In the meantime, research paying for a funeral without overpaying with information from the Consumer Funeral Alliance, a non-profit that helps people pay a reasonable amount for funerals: funerals.org/ This is information you will want to have before the distress of having any of your loved ones die is laid at your feet. It is only prudent to gather this information in advance.

Oh, and if you and your husband haven't planned for your own funerals, do that. You don't have to pay a dime for anything, you don't have to have a purchased plan or buy plots if you don't want to. Just have a file with your thoughts about what you would like. One of you will probably need it some day, and will be glad to have it.


#5

Oh my, that price is exorbitant! I cannot imagine what you are getting for that amount of money, it’s more than a cremation for sure. That quote sounds like they are going to wrap her in gold leaf and cremate her in a mahogany coffin!

Right now, here in my area, south Texas, I am looking at a funeral home price list (we have legislation that demands funeral homes make this available) and the cost for a direct cremation is $1,970, bring your own urn. With a container provided by the funeral home, $2,069. And with a minimum casket selected from the funeral home, $2865. No embalming is necessary for cremation. The price includes some help from the funeral home and transportation of the body within 50 miles.

That does not include a memorial service. Those prices are separate but it looks as if you could have a reasonable service for less than $1,000.

I would definitely shop around for a better price. 20 years ago the price of a cremation was under $1,000.

I know there are other issues here, with your MIL, it sounds like there are standing resentments, but just for your own peace of mind, do shop around. I am pretty cut and dried about these things and totally believe in planning ahead so that loved ones don’t have to wonder what I want if I go suddenly. And, I sure don’t want them to go broke just for my remains!!

Oh, and also, here, the funeral homes HAVE to allow you to buy and use a casket or an urn from outside their facility. We have a cut-rate casket store called The Pine Box that supplies a lot of funerals.

p.s. Forgot to add that if any family member already has a burial plot up in WI, her remains can probably be buried in the same plot. At least in Colorado, where my mother is buried, up to 5 separate urns can be put in one plot and it doesn’t matter if a coffin has already been buried. That would just mean 4 urns instead of 5. A lot less cost involved in burying an urn than to buy a new plot.


#6

[quote="EasterJoy, post:4, topic:217895"]
She's still very much alive and doesn't want to talk about it, so this is not something to argue about. As far as I know, there is no requirement that her heirs pay for expenses related to her death, only that her estate, whatever it is, pay for those expenses before the estate is passed on to her heirs. She sent you a note about the existence of a bank account which might be needed for this purpose: fine. Your DH knows about it. He has no guarantee that any of that money will still be there when she dies, but he knows about it. Leave it at that.

Most of the expenses related to a typical funeral are entirely elective. If she wants a particular type of funeral, she'll provide for it herself. She'll tell you what she feels you need to know, she'll pay for what she has to have. If you have asked and left the door open to talk about it, and she doesn't want to do that, then respect her wish to leave you in the dark and plan her funeral according to what you think is fitting if you are left to do that. If she dies without having provided for her funeral, well, time will tell what she will get. It will depend on what the people left behind need in order to mourn her and remember her as they see fit, because it obviously wasn't something that she saw a need to provide for. Cross that bridge when you come to it, if you come to it. You may be independently wealthy by then. She may yet outlive you all, and it won't ever be your problem. As the Lord said, sufficient for the day are its own troubles. It is pointless to suffer a fate that has not befallen you.

In the meantime, research paying for a funeral without overpaying with information from the Consumer Funeral Alliance, a non-profit that helps people pay a reasonable amount for funerals: funerals.org/ This is information you will want to have before the distress of having any of your loved ones die is laid at your feet. It is only prudent to gather this information in advance.

Oh, and if you and your husband haven't planned for your own funerals, do that. You don't have to pay a dime for anything, you don't have to have a purchased plan or buy plots if you don't want to. Just have a file with your thoughts about what you would like. One of you will probably need it some day, and will be glad to have it.

[/quote]

That is a great website, EasterJoy! Thanks! I'm reading all the articles and loving it. I knew some of this but am learning more. This is something that I think about quite a bit, because none of us knows the moment God is going to call us home, and if it's unexpected, I don't want my kids and husband to be further burdened with trying to plan what I want. I've already lost many family members and am more sanguine about this subject than my husband, who still has both his parents. And since I have a few unconventional preferences, such as urging people not to mourn and weep or wear black, and I have music which is dear to me that might blow the doors off the funeral home (Kutlass and Newsboys), I need to set down some written instructions. I also want the guests at my final party to release butterflies at the end of whatever memorial service they hold. I'd be fine with a wake at home, in fact that would be optimum, but hubby would freak out about that, so...I'll go with something out of the house. :D

It's good to know that we all have options, and it does bear some consideration.


#7

The simplest way to avoid all kinds of in-law problems is to not get married. If you marry, then it comes with the territory.

By staying single and chaste, many other difficulties can be averted, such as children.


#8

[quote="nana3, post:1, topic:217895"]
I have written before about my MIL. Before it was that she was coming between my dh and I because she recently divorced and refused to sell her house and move into something more affordable, so my dh has given her money for groceries, etc. I would not mind except that I see her buying unnecessary things that are not needed.

Anyway, she is now behind about two months in her mortgage payments. Her house now needs a plumber to fix her kitchen sink and garbage disposal. She complains to my dh who feels sorry for her and wants to pay to have everything fixed. I told him to call his aunt, my MIL's sister, and when he did she even told him not to enable her that she is living beyond her means and is being stubborn by staying in that house. She needs to move into an apartment, but she refuses to do so. So for now, my dh is not going to pay her anything there, at least that I know of.

But the other day, she sent us both an email and in the subject section wrote, "Information you need to know." She said in the email how she has been thinking of her funeral arrangements and did not want to be a burden on us and that she has $1,200.00 in a savings acct. that she can't touch until her death and was going to put my dh has beneficiary. She wants us to use that money to pay for her cremation funeral. I talked it over with my dh and called funeral homes and that doesn't pay much. We would have to come up with thousands of dollars to pay the rest so she would be a burden on us. She does not have life insurance either for she mentioned that in the email. So the funeral home suggested that we bring her in to see if she can afford payments so that we would not have to pay for her funeral, she tells us that she can't afford that. Then we look into life insurance for her and found a cheap one that would be about $20.00 a month and cover the cost of the funeral and she tells us that she doesn't want to get life insurance and got upset at her son, my dh. What does she want us to do, pay for it all? The amount she will leave will not cover much. The house will most likely be taken from her by the bank so she can't even put that in my husband's name. She has nothing to leave us to pay for her funeral and then she wants her remains to be sent to Michigan. So we would have to pay for that too. So my dh and I are arguing over that.

Am I wrong? Should I just be quiet and pay for his mother's funeral when she dies and pay for the plane tickets for my dh to bring her remains to Michigan and be buried up there? I looked up the average cost of a cremation for today and it is $8,000.00 and we don't have that kind of money. My mom and dad have made their arrangements and made their wishes known. I don't know, nor my dh know, what my MIL wants after she dies. Does she want a funeral service at her church? We don't know for she won't talk about it. She can't handle stress well. I personally think she has a personality disorder for she was an abusive mother to her three sons and that is another thing, the other two sons will not help in the cost of the funeral. They made that very clear. She was not a good mother to them. The only reason my dh keeps in contact with her is because he is a good Catholic. She has changed a lot now in her older years, but she still can't handle stress and is very stubborn.

I don't know if by law we have to pay for her funeral if we are the only relatives nearby.:shrug:

Help, I don't want this coming between my dh and I. He doesn't handle stress well either. I don't need the stress either. If she would just work with us, life would be easier, but she is not.

[/quote]

Wait...is she terminally ill? Why is she bringing this up?
Sounds like emotional manipulation to me.
Just saying...


#9

Yes, well, considering that option is water under the bridge for the OP. I don’t think she’s asking why she ever married. She’s only asking how to do marriage well.


#10

Wait...is she terminally ill? Why is she bringing this up?
Sounds like emotional manipulation to me.
Just saying...

yes. i think so too. why now? because when you dont pay her mortgage, then you and hubby **agree *and well... seems like MIL can't let *that** happen.

time to stir the pot.

i'd do what 1KE suggested. put a little money away every week. talk to te funeral home about simple arrangements, maKE payments and end the conversation.

beyond that, close your wallet.


#11

Unless she is terminally ill and has less that a few months to live, I certainly wouldn't worry about it today. And definitely do not discuss or argue with your husband about it- it's just not worth it.
Have the kind of funeral that you can afford when the time comes. I have seen newspaper ads her in MI for cremations for $800.00 ( not sure what that includes). You can just have a mass -for a donation. You don't need the funeral home, lunch, etc. You also don't have to send her cremains anywhere if you don't want to or can't afford it.

I'd just ignore the whole topic and do what is best for you & your family when the time comes.
If your MIL brings up the subject just listen and don't say anything.....she'll be gone & you can make the decisions then.


#12

If it were me, I would completely leave this up to my dh (unless he wanted my opinion, but even then, I would make it clear that it's up to him). No amount of money is worth ruining your marriage over.


#13

[quote="Musician, post:8, topic:217895"]
Wait...is she terminally ill? Why is she bringing this up?
Sounds like emotional manipulation to me.
Just saying...

[/quote]

We don't know why she is bringing this up now except that she feels drained because she is raising her granddaughter who she adopted and is 8 years old. The only reason she took on this kid is because her younger husband was going to help, he is 45 years old, and she is 64 years old, but he divorced her last year and is now married to a woman his age. She just feels emotionally and physically drained. She looks terrible every time we see her. This child she took on is a special needs child too and my MIL has no patiences. She loves the child, but she is just too much for her age. We have talked to her about giving her to the adopted father, but he doesn't want her. She took this child away from her second son and that is why he won't pay for the funeral and wants nothing to do with his mother. He has made comments like, "I will dance on her grave when she dies." So there is great anger and unforgiveness there. The other son, well he does't call anyone including my dh. We don't know what is going on in his life. All we know is that he calls his mother once a year and is living with a drug addict.

I don't have resentment toward my mother in law. The only thing that bothers me is that is uses her money unwisely and could be using it to buy a life insurance. For instance, she bought her two little dogs halloween costumes because it was cute. That was money that she needed and shortly after that, her plumbing went bad in the kitchen and she had no money. She doesn't see that she needs to save and not use all her money just because she has some in the bank. She is almost like a child. I talked to her sister and she told me that she has been that way all her life. So she may never change there, but she told us not to lend her anymore money. We gave her $250.00 to pay for her lawyer to take her ex to court who is in comtempt. We paid $250.00 to have all her locks changed in her house so that her ex could not get into ther house. We have given her more than $300.00 in grocery food cards. She needs help monthly. She has applied for food stamps, but she has not heard anything as of yet. In the meantime, we can't put money aside yet, for we have our financial problems. We are making payements to a company until December to get squirrels out of our actic and sanitize it. It was not cheap and we had to do it three monthly payments. After that, I have to get our daughter and myself tested for food allergies and that is going to be $400.00 a month for four months. We have an RV that we have been trying to sell also and still have to make payments on that thing. It is not easy for us just to make payments. I know we should bury the dead when the time comes and maybe when she dies the situation will be different. Who knows but God. I did call the funeral home near our house and the cheapest cremation is $1900.00 and that includes transportation of the body to the crematory and cremation and then they give us the ashes in a box. We have to provide a jewelry box or a vase with top is what I was told. Maybe, Florida is just more expensive, but I did call Balwin and Fairchild and they may be expensive.

My husband is trying to see if he can include his mother in the life insurance of the Knights of Columbus, but it seems that he can't. He is trying hard to look after her. He is still checking around.

Thanks for all of your advice to those who wrote. I do feel that my MIL is very manipulative. My dh would be the first to say she is. I don't know if that is what she is doing now. We don't know why she brought this up now. She told me her health is in good conditions. So I don't know. But I am not arguing with my dh over this anymore. He can do whatever he wants to do. He does wish his other two brothers would help out. He tried talking to his dad about it, but his dad wants nothing to do with his mother.


#14

Thank you for this information. :slight_smile:


#15

[quote="bkayw, post:3, topic:217895"]
Before her demise, where's she going to live?

[/quote]

She tells us that she will not lose the house and will do every possible not to lose it. I think she rather go hungry and pay the mortgage with the child support money, then lose the house. She has told us that she uses the child support money to pay the house, but then she complains that she can't buy food for her daughter's lunch for school. We tell her that the child support money is for the child's use and her care, but she doesn't want to lose the house. She goes to court this money and we think the child support will be dropped down for he went from a cop to a fire fighter and they earn less money. She will not be happy with that. Still the adopted father has not seen this child since last Christmas. That is sad. We don't understand it for I remember him playing and caring for her and he really did love her. I guess people change when they marry someone else.

This child has a lot of medical problems as well as psychological problems and this dad is in denial that she has medical problems. She is schedule to go to Shanes Hospital this month to have her hips broken and realigned for one leg is longer than another. She has brothers. My MIL is the one always at her side. He doesn't even call his daughter on the phone to see how she is doing the last time she was at Shanes. It is sad. I think she wants to give up his parental rights. We heard he was trying to get a hold of the biological dad, my BIL about two months ago. We don't know if he did or not. They may try to say my MIL is a unfit mother. Her past is not a good past with her three sons.

We can't take her in there for we don't have an extra bedroom, but she does have a sister in Oklahoma, but I doubt she would move there. I don't know what she would do.:shrug:


#16

I'd just stake her through the heart and bury her at a crossroads. You want to make sure she doesn't come back you know. Nothing worse than an undead mother in law. ;)

Seriously though, its a sick modern world we live in where you need to pay thousands of dollars to give a respectable burial to someone. What do they do in the US to people who have no money for a funeral?


closed #17

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