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Burial Expenses (may no one know from it)
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southernbubby




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 04 2007, 4:44 pm
I am unfortunately learning about the expenses incurred when someone passes away. If there is money in an estate, that goes first to pay for the burial expenses, then the creditors, then the estate is divided according to the will. If there is no estate, then the next of kin is responsible for the costs. If the person has purchased a plot before death or has prepaid for burial, that is some savings to the family but if this was not done, the costs could exceed $14,000 (which includes the metzaiva).
We think a lot about the high cost of living such as marrying off kids, tuition, BarMitzvahs, and such but we are usually not prepared for the high cost of dying. Besides being responsible for the burial of parents, people are often responsible for the burial of unmarried relatives or of their own their spouses. Some funeral directors will take payment plans, but the owners of some burial places will not allow the metzaiva to be put up until they get their money. There are allowances for the truly indigent but if anyone in the family has money and wants a Jewish burial for any relative, then payment is expected.
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cassandra




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 04 2007, 4:48 pm
certain organizations such as NCYI have a "burial package" which is around $3900 all inclusive. It was created specifically to alleviate this problem.
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Tefila




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 04 2007, 4:52 pm
Yes we know all about it Crying Also that doesn't cover the cost of transporting family in or the deceased in..........

Though noone is refused a kosher buriel due to lack of funds southern is right if anyone has money I.e. relative then they are expected to 'cough up'
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sarahd




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 04 2007, 5:26 pm
Yes, it's unbelievable how much levayos/kevurah can cost, especially considering that we don't do wakes or fancy coffins. And even people who have paid chevra kadisha dues all their lives end up paying through the nose (or rather, their family does) for a plot and tahara. Exploding anger
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Fox




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 04 2007, 5:51 pm
Allow me to tell you my experience in this regard. My daughter, a"h, was niftar at the age of six. Although the Chevra Kadisha donated the plot, we had to write checks totaling almost $5000. Our daughter was niftar on Shabbos, the levaya was on Sunday, and we still weren't sure what was going to happen when the various checks hit the bank on Monday morning.

Our insurance agent came during the first day to be menachem ovel, and she gave us a check for $10,000. Apparently our life insurance policies had a "rider" that paid a lesser amount in the event of the death of one of our children. We hadn't noticed this fine print when we purchased the policies, but our agent was on top of things. She apologized if her actions might seem crass, but said that she was concerned that we not have to worry too much about money during such a time.

I don't want to turn this into a discussion of the halachic or hashkafic ramifications of life insurance; even within my own extended family, there are people who have been told by their rav *not* to purchase insurance as well as people who have been told by their rav that they *must* purchase insurance.

But if your rav holds that life insurance is permissible or if you already have life insurance, take a few minutes to read the fine print. It may seem morbid or depressing, but please take it from me: not only do money problems not go away when you're grieving, they can actually make things worse.
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southernbubby




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 04 2007, 6:00 pm
Fox, I a so sorry about what you went through. Although it is not easy to lose a parent, it is expected to happen at sometime. We expect our children to outlive us and we want to protect them from everything. In my opinion, losing a child is the hardest loss.
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cassandra




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 04 2007, 6:20 pm
Tefila wrote:
Yes we know all about it Crying Also that doesn't cover the cost of transporting family in or the deceased in..........


I guess it depends on how much your shul/community pitches in...
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Ruchel




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 04 2007, 7:04 pm
Some take advantage of the misery of other Jews Exploding anger
Be careful and don't accept when it sounds crazy!

may we never need it
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southernbubby




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 04 2007, 7:13 pm
I at first thought of that (advantage taking) but the real situation is that in some cities, the Jewish funeral home only does a couple of funerals a week but must stay open 24 hrs a day in case someone chas v'sholem passes away. Each funeral pays for the 24 hr a day availability.
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Fox




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Nov 04 2007, 8:12 pm
Compared to many of the things we spend money on, I don't think burial expenses are necessarily outrageous. As Southern Bubbie says, it's the unexpectedness of the need that is frightening. Even when the niftar has come to the end of a long, productive, and happy life, no one wants to start counting the money out in advance of need.

While most communities pitch in to one degree or another, keep in mind that burial services usually represent the parnosseh of a frum Yid, and that in the U.S., the states often have significant regulation concerning the education of staff members and management of the facility -- both of which are costly.

In our own case, we could have easily provided a shomer from our kehilla, but it was pointed out to us that the elderly people who served in this capacity depended on this "job" to bridge the gap between their Social Security checks and reality. So we decided that we would go ahead and incur this "unnecessary" expense.
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amother






Post  Sun, Nov 04 2007, 10:35 pm
Ruchel wrote:
Some take advantage of the misery of other Jews Exploding anger
Be careful and don't accept when it sounds crazy!

may we never need it


I am HUGELY offended by that comment!!

my family owns a funeral chapel and the expenses incurred are TREMENDOUS!!!!!!!

in addition to that, let it be known taht they do loads and loads of tzedaka/chesed and mais mitzvohs - all this waaaaaaay before the organizations started doing these things.

they don't expect the paying pple to cover the costs of the mitzvos. every single solitary funeral has tons of expenses. the undertaker needs to be paid to open the grave, the drivers.... lots of logistics involved.

it's not a pleasant thought, but funerals do cost a lot of money.
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amother






Post  Mon, Nov 05 2007, 5:24 am
When a friend of our family died he died with no family or anyone to help him. The chevra chadisha said no money no burial. We were shocked that something like this could really happen. My brother overnight went out collecting from door to door and at the end of the night he had the money. He worked HOURS to get the money. I feel it is so sad that they won't even bury a person with no family or money.

Fast foward six years when my father died. My mother was in a panick. She remembered the policy about the chevra kadisha and didn't know what to do. She had no money since she spent it all on doctors for my father for the past couple of years. She was in a state that she couldn't function without my father and couldn't cope with my father not being buried at all.

Hashem should bless him whoever and where ever he is. Someone came to my mothers house the next morning after my father passed away with a annonymous letter. Someone that happened to know my father decided to help out my mother knowing her state. He gave her the full cost of the whole funeral. My mother was brought to tears that there could be such considerate people in this world. That afternoon my father was laid to rest. Crying

So yes dying is not cheap but I still feel that if a person really can't afford 14,000 dollars for a burial they should not be refused.
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amother






Post  Mon, Nov 05 2007, 6:48 am
amother wrote:
Ruchel wrote:
Some take advantage of the misery of other Jews Exploding anger
Be careful and don't accept when it sounds crazy!

may we never need it


I am HUGELY offended by that comment!!

my family owns a funeral chapel and the expenses incurred are TREMENDOUS!!!!!!!

in addition to that, let it be known taht they do loads and loads of tzedaka/chesed and mais mitzvohs - all this waaaaaaay before the organizations started doing these things.

they don't expect the paying pple to cover the costs of the mitzvos. every single solitary funeral has tons of expenses. the undertaker needs to be paid to open the grave, the drivers.... lots of logistics involved.

it's not a pleasant thought, but funerals do cost a lot of money.


You might find that offensive but you haven't proved why exactly it costs that much.

As I see it you need a hole in the ground - a couple of pieces of wood for a casket - and to be allowed to die in peace!
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Mimisinger




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Nov 05 2007, 7:32 am
There are a lot of costs - forget the grounds that need to be taken care of, the people to dig the hole, the machinery to dig the hole, the insurance to cover the people who dig the hole, the machinery to cut the grass, the coffins, the mortgage on the land, the workers who work in the chapel, the chapel's upkeep, plumbing, more insurance, paperwork for the state and I"m sure a million other things that I'm not familiar with b"H at all. May none of us know from it...
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southernbubby




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Nov 05 2007, 10:28 am
When a distant relative committed suicide, and left no money, his brothers were going to have him cremated. I called an Orthodox shul which agreed to do the burial for whatever they would have paid for cremation ($1100) plus a donation from us which we gave $1000. It was a mais mitzvah.
Although we never see fundraisers from chevra kadishas in our community, it is nevertheless a mitzvah to donate because it could save a poor Jew from cremation or being buried in "potters field" with the poor non jews. It is also not always easy to determine who is liable for payment because some people outlive most of their close relatives or only have other elderly relatives. Apparently if a niece or nephew calls a funeral home to bury an uncle or aunt, that person is liable for payment. There may be something of value that the deceased left that could be sold to pay for the funeral. Payment plans are usually available but as I said before some places will not allow the stone setting before the payments are finished.
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Clarissa




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Nov 05 2007, 10:38 am
amother wrote:
Ruchel wrote:
Some take advantage of the misery of other Jews Exploding anger
Be careful and don't accept when it sounds crazy!

may we never need it


I am HUGELY offended by that comment!!

my family owns a funeral chapel and the expenses incurred are TREMENDOUS!!!!!!!

in addition to that, let it be known taht they do loads and loads of tzedaka/chesed and mais mitzvohs - all this waaaaaaay before the organizations started doing these things.

they don't expect the paying pple to cover the costs of the mitzvos. every single solitary funeral has tons of expenses. the undertaker needs to be paid to open the grave, the drivers.... lots of logistics involved.

it's not a pleasant thought, but funerals do cost a lot of money.


I agree. First of all, they're in business to make money, and if one isn't happy with the charges at one funeral home, they are welcome to shop around. I dealt with a funeral home that was incredibly kind, generous, compassionate and helpful when I had a problem regarding complicated death and burial. They went out of their way for me in ways I really can't go into here. Were they cheap? No. Did they help me and support me in completely unexpected and kind ways? Yes. Like doctors, they are business people in addition to doing good deeds. They make money, but some of them went into that particular business because they wanted to reach out to people at the most difficult times of their lives. One of the men I dealt with, an amazing guy, went into the business because he lost a sibling when they were children. Sure, there are dishonest funeral homes, just as there are dishonest merchants and anything else out there. But to malign the industry because they charge a lot (in your opinion) is just unfair. You don't what this guy charges for a casket? Find someone else, it's your right as a consumer.

By the way, if anybody is concerned about burdening family with expenses, get life insurance! I've said it here before and I'll say it again.
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southernbubby




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Nov 05 2007, 10:42 am
The simplest frum aron (casket) at the funeral home that we used was $1300.
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Clarissa




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Nov 05 2007, 10:47 am
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline.....neral.shtm
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Ruchel




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Nov 05 2007, 10:50 am
Ok ladies, complain to the chief rabbi of France who said it Smile

Definitely they take advantage, and people have to be careful. Many won't provide a shomer and so on if you can't pay.
If you want to do dirty business, don't go into fields where people are already weakened and hurt.
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amother






Post  Mon, Nov 05 2007, 2:59 pm
Ruchel, it's very easy to put it on "the chief rabbi of france, who said it". Seems he doesn't know much about this either.
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