Definition of FUNERAL EXPENSE:
(noun) / includes reasonable expense of a funeral, suitable church or other services as an integral part thereof, expense of internment or other disposition of the body, a burial lot and suitable monumental work thereon and a reasonable expenditure for the perpetual care of burial lot of the decedent. For the purpose of subdivision one of section eighteen hundred eleven of this act, funeral expense shall also include burial expenses awarded pursuant to article twenty-two of the executive law. (SCPA § 103 [22])

Plain English translation: A funeral expense is just what it sounds like—costs associated with the decedent’s funeral. It also includes disposition of the body, such as cremation, internment, burial, and perpetual care.

Example: Juan’s wishes were to be cremated and for his ashes to be spread into the sea. His sister, Diana, spent $11,000 for the cremation, boat rental, and a memorial service. These costs were reimbursed to Diana from Juan’s estate because they were considered reasonable funeral expenses.

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Samantha M. Sbrocchi
Helping clients in New York and New Jersey with various probate, administration and estate litigation matters.