TRANSCRIPT: Hi, I’m Sarah Siedentopf. I’m an estate planning and probate attorney in Atlanta, Georgia. Who pays for funeral expenses? Ultimately, the answer is that the estate pays for funeral expenses, but because this is one of the first things that happens and the estate will not have formally been set up by a judge, and you won’t have an estate bank account to write a check from, someone may actually end up fronting those expenses and then being reimbursed. The best way to proceed is to tell the funeral home to bill the estate. But then you actually have to get on getting the estate started and paying them. If you’re the executor or the person who made the funeral arrangements, and the estate can’t pay or is being slow to pay, you may have to pay. So, keep this in mind when you’re making funeral arrangements you do want to consider how many assets are available in the estate before making those decisions and also keep in mind that if there is a way to have cash available, set aside for that purpose, it’s a good idea because as soon as someone dies you can’t access their bank account anymore, even if you were formerly their power of attorney, and will be their executor as soon as you’re appointed. So, this can be a crunch time. Eventually, the estate will reimburse you, but someone may have to pay out of pocket in the interim. If you’ve got more questions about estate debts, I’d be happy to talk to you. Thanks.
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