Need help with dad's funeral

This isn’t easy for me.

I am usually pretty good at putting things into words, but this has been one of the most difficult times I have ever had sitting down and writing. It’s because I hate doing it. Not writing, that I love to do. What I hate to do is ask for help, especially when I know there are so many other people who need help more than I do and have causes that are more worthy.

But here goes…

Most of you know that my father passed away this past December. It came unexpectedly, as he had been relatively healthy or so we thought. And then what he described as stomach pain landed him in the hospital and eventually led to his death just a few weeks later.  

I won’t get into the details of those few weeks here, but I wrote about it as it was happening if you want to read about it:

Shortly after my father’s death and his funeral, I wrote the following on Facebook:

“If I can give anyone any advice when it comes to the loss of a loved one (especially if you are the executor of the will/estate), it is this:

As hard as the conversations might be (and as much as we don't want to have them), make sure you have all of their policies for life insurance, 401K, etc. Make copies and keep them for yourself. Update them annually.

Make sure you have all of their bank account information as well. Know if you are a signer or a beneficiary on said accounts.

Having these conversations will make it much easier when the time unfortunately comes to go through all of the paperwork.”

The reason I wrote that is because just days after his funeral, I received a phone call from the funeral home. They informed me that the life insurance policy I had given them for my dad was an “accidental only” policy and that I was now responsible for the $7,200 funeral bill.

Imagine my shock.

When my mom passed away in 2011, my dad made it a point to let me know about his life insurance policies, how much they were, and even gave me the policy numbers. Well when he retired earlier in 2016, his work policy expired. That left what he believed one life insurance policy that would be plenty to take care of any funeral arrangements and would also leave money after for my brother and I. Not once was it ever discussed that this policy was an accidental one, nor do I believe he was ever aware of it.

That brings me back to the original reason for this post.

Soon after speaking with the funeral home and explaining that I did not just have an extra $7,200 that I could use to pay off this account and that I could make small payments, they seemed to be okay with that. But within weeks, I started receiving correspondence from their lawyers. They seemed reluctant to take payments and wanted to take care of this account as soon as possible. I tried to voice my point of view that I was still grieving over the death of my father and that it didn’t seem right that they agreed to take the insurance policy only to tell me once it was over that it wasn’t valid. I wasn’t trying to pull something over – I legitimately thought it was a good policy and I had no reason to believe otherwise. I asked them to put themselves in my shoes and understand the financial burden they were placing on me because they didn’t get the information soon enough, as I could have made the funeral cheaper had I known I didn’t have insurance to cover it.

That didn’t seem to mean much.

So the reason I am reaching out is to do something I hate to do – I am asking for help. I do not expect to be able to raise the entire amount, but I am hoping that maybe I can raise enough that I can offer them a settlement (which they seemed to be willing to do) or enough to at least give them a decent down payment towards paying it off and hoping they would then be willing to do smaller payments.

Anything will be greatly appreciated. And if you can’t give anything, I will completely understand. It seems like we are all being asked for help at every corner these days and like I said earlier, I know there are others who need it more than I do or who have more worthy causes.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and help out in any way possible.

Ryan Isley

PS: If I somehow raise more than the goal, any extra would be used towards a headstone for the cemetery.

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Ryan Isley 
Akron, OH