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Refund on Funeral Expenses

Washington, DC |

If an individual decides to go ahead and spend money on a burial and this spending was not approved by the majority of the Executors (or the majority of the burial planning committee), does this individual still have the right to claim a refund on their expenses from the estate of the Testator.

Attorney Answers 1

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Under the Rules that govern probate in DC, it is permissible to spend up to $1,500 on funeral expenses. More than that amount can be spent under certain circumstances. First of all, if all of the heirs agree in writing and if the estate is solvent (meaning that assets exceed liabilities), then more than $1,500 can be spent. Secondly, if there is a will that permits more to be spent, more can be spent so long as the estate is solvent. Finally, the court is permitted to authorize up to $5,000 in funeral expenses. The court will generally look at whether the estate is solvent and how much was spent and why, as well as what the heirs and legatees think (and why).

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