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What Happens If A Person Dies And Doesn’t Have Any Life Insurance For Burial Expenses?

What Happens If There Isn’t Money For A Funeral?

If you lack the funding for a funeral, here are a few of your options:

1) Prepay Burial Expenses: If death is anticipated in the near time, then try to prepay the funeral expenses. The sources can come from the deceased’s state or from a life insurance or final expense insurance policy.

How To Purchase Final Expense Insurance

2) Ask For Money: You can contact family members and ask for donations. Of course this will tell you who your friends really were.

3) Finance The Funeral: Some funeral homes will allow installment payments. Of course, they ideally want to time it a year or two before a death rather than, say, 10 years. Realistically, it occurs after death. Also note that even if you have ‘prepaid’ funeral costs, that these expenses rise every yeare, so you still may not have enough money.

Here is how the cost of an adult funeral has increased since 1960:

Year / Cost of an Adult Funeral
1960 $708
1965 $790
1971 $983
1975 $1,285
1980 $1,809
1985 $2,737
1991 $3,742
1995 $4,626
2000 $5,180
2006 $6,195
2009 $6,560
2012 $7,045
2013 $7,543
2014 $8,023
2015 $8,543
2016 $9,010

4) Governmental Payments Medicaid: Medicaid can allow up to $1,500 to be counted toward a funeral instead of as assets. The Medicaid funeral amount amount varies widely from state to state.

5) Governmental Payments SSA: According to “A surviving spouse or child may receive a special lump-sum death payment of $255 if they meet certain requirements. Generally, the lump-sum is paid to the surviving spouse who was living in the same household with the worker when he or she died. If they were living apart, the surviving spouse can still receive the lump-sum if, during the month the worker died, he or she:

was already receiving benefits on the worker’s record; or
became eligible for benefits upon the worker’s death.”

6) Unclaimed Deceased Body: No one suggests that you don’t claim a body, but it happens. Frequently unclaimed bodies are cremated by the local government. The remains are kept for a defined period. Many governmental agencies hold a mass funeral for all unclaimed bodies. Sometimes an unclaimed body is made available to a medical school for use as a cadaver or for research. In some cases an unclaimed body is sent to a body farm, where human decomposition is studied. The findings from how fast a body decomposes are used frequently in crime site investigations.

There is no agency which reports the numbers of unclaimed bodies. But anecdotal information indicates that the number of unclaimed bodies is higher during times of recession.

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