Obligation to pay for stepdad's funeral?

I should imagine most people deal with such institutions at best a few times in their lives. Something funeral directors are keenly aware of in the UK and no doubt the US. They dislike being asked straight out questions about what is required by law and what is not and I know that from personal experience. Family run funeral homes are nearly extinct in the UK, only a couple in this area of London are like that any more. Even many which claim to be family run are actually run by large companies which just kept the family name after buying out the business.

Unfortunately, the issue is not how affordable the casket is going to be. It is really the FIXED costs that are funeral homes are going to charge. No matter where one has a funeral, the out of pocket costs for a one day traditional service is about $4,500 - $5,000, which includes the cheapest casket of about $800-$1,000. There is no way around these costs that I can envision or even be negotiated because some person or family is poor. The same is true for the cemetery costs (i.e. open & close, vault liners, plot) involved. The Catholic cemetery charge the same FIXED costs that also go up approximately 5%-10% each year. Even when I said I would pay $11,400 upfront for a double burial with everything included, they discounted the price about $100. The refrain from the cemetery is that you can pay off the expense over four years at 0% interest. In other words, there are no price breaks as they know people die and need to be buried somewhere.

Just wanted to give everyone an update. On Tuesday, I assisted my mom and stepdad with obtaining life insurance policies within their budgets for final expenses (i.e. burial, funeral). My mom’s simplified policy is for $13,000 and my stepdad’s simplified policy is for $11,000, which were within their respective budgets. The policies go into effect on 9/5/19 and the premiums are the same each month. I am relieved that they were willing participants on a difficult subject matter and that I will avoid incurring $20,000 plus in funeral costs between the both of them. Thank you for everyone who participated in this thread. I appreciate it.


In most states in the US one can have a simple cremation for less than $1,000. Mass is no charge. Cremains may be interred at little or no charge. We do not have to spend thousands, even if we are not poor.

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Glad both situations are working out for you.

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Our location is a little more expensive.

For Mom, we paid about $3,000. But that included transportation of the remains from our house to the funeral home.

We did not have, and therefore did not pay for, a casket of any sort, or any type of viewing.

Thankfully, Dad was retired military, so we did not have to pay for a headstone or the plot. Dad died shortly after Mom, so they were buried at the same time. That way we didn’t have to pay for opening or closing of the plot.

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