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Dave Ramsey says: Woman not obligated to help pay for funeral

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Dear Dave,

My father died recently. He walked out of my life 25 years ago when I was a teenager, and he never wanted anything to do with me after that.

His brothers, who have already paid for some of his final expenses, asked if I wanted to pay to have his body cremated.

They didn’t ask for money, they just offered it as a chance to be part of things. I’m in good shape financially, and I could easily afford the cost.

Morally, I wonder if I have a responsibility to help with things.

Do you feel I’m obligated in any way?

— Julie

Dear Julie,

I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sorry, too, about what happened with your father. I can’t imagine the mixed emotions you must have in your heart.

When someone asks me a question like this, I try to put myself in their shoes.

Under the circumstances, I don’t think you have any obligation whatsoever — morally or legally — to help pay for anything.

If you want to help, and you can afford to do so, then follow your heart. At the same time, I don’t think you should lose one wink of sleep over this if you decide not to contribute.

Twenty-five years is long, long time. I don’t know your dad, and I have no clue about his situation or state of mind back then and in the time since. I can’t imagine doing that to a child of any age, though.

Do what you feel in your heart is best. But in my opinion, there’s no obligation here. God bless you, Julie.

— Dave

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