Brother-In-Law Died Without A Will. I Paid For The Funeral. Can I Be Reimbursed For This Expense?

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Question:

My brother in law recently passed away with no will.  The other family members could not afford the funeral expense, so I took on the expense.  I am not exactly sure how much of the remaining estate/assets are being distributed, but I don’t know if I can recover my money. Is there any way to put a property lien on the estate or how could I go about reclaiming the expense I incurred for the funeral (if the family isn’t agreeing to pay it back, immediately at least).

 

Answer:

When your brother-in-law passed away without a will, this is known as dying “intestate” (without a valid will).  It depends on the laws of your specific state, but usually what happens when a person dies intestate, is that the court appoints an executor who is responsible for liquidating all of the assets of the decedent’s estate.  The executor is liable for paying any claims made against the estate.  Whoever pays for the funeral and burial expenses can make a claim against the estate for reimbursement. There is no need to file a property lien.  Filing a claim against the estate means that your reimbursement claim will go against any assets within the estate, such as cash, stocks, bonds, or real property.  It is advised that you keep a record of all expenses associated with the funeral and burial costs that you incurred.

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