FUNERAL EXPENSES. Money expended in procuring the interment of a corpse.
The person who orders the funeral is re sponsible personally for the expenses, and if the estate of the deceased should be insolvent, he must lose the amount. But if there are assets sufficient to pay these, expenses, the executor or administrator is bound, upon an implied assumpsit, to pay them ; 1 Campb. 298 ; Gregory v. Hooker's Adm'r, ,8 N. C. 9 Am. Dec. 646 ; 13 Viner, Abr. 563 ; O'Don nell v. Slack, 123 Cal. 285, 55 Pac. 906, 43 L. R. A. 388; Huhna v. 35 Misc. 296, 71 N. Y. Supp. 752.
Frequent questions arise as to the amount which is to be allowed to the executor or administrator for such expenses. It is ex ceedingly difficult to gather any certain rule from the numerous cases which have been decided upon this subject. Courts have taken Into consideration the circumstances of each case, the rank in life of the decedent, wheth er his estate was insolvent or not, and when the executors have acted with common pru dence or in obedience to the will, their ex penses have been allowed. In a case where the testator directed that his remains should be buried at a church thirty miles distant from the place of his death, the sum of six ty pounds sterling was allowed ; 3 Atk. 119. In another case, under peculiar es, six hundred pounds were allowed; glginc. Prec. 29. Where the intestate left a consid erable estate, and no children, $258.75 was allowed, the greater part of which had been expended in erecting a tombstone over a vault in which the body was interred; Appeal of McGlinsey, 14 S. & R. (Pa.) 64. A sum of $127 for burial expenses is not unreasonable where deceased left an estate worth $800; Kittle v. Huntley, 67 Hun 617, 22 N. Y. Stipp. 519.
In an estate of $2,800, the sum of $700 for a burial lot and monument was held exces sive ; In re Erlacher, 3 Redf. Sur. (N. Y.) 9 ; so was $490 for a casket and box for an in fant whose estate was under $7,000 ; In re Kiernan, 38 Misc. 394, 77 N. Y. Supp. 924 ; and so $329 out of an estate of $500, for funeral expenses; In re Primmer's Estate, 49 Misc. 413, 99 N. Y. Supp. 830 ; and $810, out of estate of, $1,167 of a domestic ,serv ant; Estate of Cullen, 8 Pa. Super. Ct. 494; and $455 for funeral expenses out of an es tate of less than $5,000 ; Fdley v. Brocksmit,
119 Ia. 457, 93 N. W.344, 60 L. R. A. 571, 97 Am. St. Rep. 824; but not $31 for carriages where the estate was $2,400;' In re Osburn's Estate, 36 Or. 8, 58 Pac. 521. The expenie of a gravestone comes uuder.the head of fu neral expenses ;'Van Eaton v. Superior Court, 76 Cal. 589, 18 Pac. S77,• 9 Am. St. Rep. 258 ; Owens v. Bloomer, 14 Hun (N. Y.) 296 ; In re Howard's Estate, 3 Misc. 170, 23 N. Y. Supp. 836; Pease v. Christman, 15& Ind. 642, 64 N. E. 90.
Funeral expenses usually have priority in the order of payment of debts.
A husband is liable for the funeral expens es of his wife ; 1 H. Bla. 90; 12 C. B. N. S. 344; Cunningham, v. Reardon, 98 Mass. 538, 96 Am. Dec. 670; Kenyon v. Brightwell, 120 Ga. 606, 48 S. E. 124, 1 Ann. Cas. 169. In some cases it is held that when he has paid them the husband is not entitled to reim bursement out of the wife's eeparate estate ; Smyley v. Reese, 53 Ala. 89, 25 Am. Rep. 598 ; Appeal of Staples, 52 Conn. 425; In re Wer inger's Estate, 100 Cal. 345, 34 Pac. 825 ; con tra, 33 Ch. Div. 575 ; 6 Madd. 90 ; McCue v. Garvey, 14 Hun (N. Y.) 562; McClellan v. Filson, 44 Ohio St. 184, 5 N. E. 861, 58 Am. Rep. 814: (where the wife's executor paid them); Pache v. Oppenheim, 93 App. Div. 221, 87 N. Y. Stipp. 704; Nashville Trust Co.
v. Carr (Tenn.) 62 S. W. 204., The rule Is not affected by the fact that the was sepa by her fault from the husband ; Sey bold v. Morgan, 43 III. App. 39; or that she bequeathed money to another person who as sisted in managing the funeral ; Sears v. Gid dey, 41 Mich. 590, 2 N. W. 917, 32 Am. Rep. 168.
A son-in-law is not liable to pay the fu neral expenses of his mother-in-law ; Kraan's Estate, 31 Pa. Co. Ct. R. 93. They are chargeable to the succession in Louisiana ; Succession of McNeely, 50 La. Ann. 823, 24 South. 838. If a third party incurs a debt, the estate is not liable ; Kenyon v. Bright well, 120 Ga. 606, 48 S. E. 124, 1 Ann. Cas. 169.. See 2 Wms. Exec. 166, n.; 3 id. 275, n. ; 2 Bla. Com. 508 ; 3 Atk. 249 ; Bacon, Abr. Executors, etc. (L 4) ; Viner, Abr. Funeral Expenses.
See, generally, 27 Am. St. Rep. n.; Wilson v. Staats, 33 N: J. Eq. 524-529 ; DEAD