Someone told me the city would do a "paupers burial" and sell assets to of set expenses. Is this true? Seems many elders die flat broke w/o tending to death planning.

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Replying to a few posts, briefly. A cardboard cremation contain is a minimum requirement set by the Crematory. This is a rigid box (or a wood coffin) that will hold the remains up to 400 pounds...for transfer and placement into the Crematory retort chamber (without it, no physical way to place one's body in, really). ANOTHER ?: Burying one in FAMILY's double plot. If its full burial, cost of a casket-vault & open/close fee OR cremate (Best option) & smaller O/C fee.
80% of funeral homes are owned by a family (no government FH's in the USA). 20% are owned by publicly traded company FH's (They may be more likely to afford paying our of pocket for YOUR fees).
Best OPTION: get real-what can you afford-- in today's economy probably Cremation also become a common practice - BUT if you WANT full burial - I DO - then talk to an insurance agent, talk to a funeral director - talk to your cemetery - Plan ahead- purchase an Irrevocable Burial Contract - so it is not taken during medicaid spend down as many are placing elderly patients in a nursing home - and then they run out of money - BUT your Irrevocable Burial Funds are SAFE!!!
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can a specific funeral home in MA be contacted, and can an elderly person who has a double plot in her name where her mom is buried, be buried there at state expense
in MA
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I was just informed that my nephew just passed. His next of kin...his sister, wants nothing to do with the whole burial thing as they were asstranged for many years and the only reason he ever called any family members was for money. Who is legally responsible for his corpse? No family members want to take responsibility. I know that sounds cold...but you do not know the whole story.
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think that's the key to that, if no one claims the body; had that discussion today with insurance agent re sorta family, if they want to claim but also claim they have no money to do anything with and don't do anything, what does happen but then guess that does answer that question, so as long as family understands, if I'm correct, there can be no marker, monument, etc. of any kind - unless, and find this an interesting concept - there's a "Christian" nursing home in my hometown that has a "Spiritual Life" dept. that does a service project every year - at least at some level; it's a part of a larger organization - this year they got the city to donate them an acre of one of their cemeteries - the older one that isn't used much anymore - to use - because of an experience the person in charge had - to bury miscarried babies that aren't normally allowed to be - and will have a wall and also one, at least, of the local funeral homes (?) - has agreed to donate a flat marker for each one - just thinking maybe that same type thing could be done for this type situation - might be worth asking about
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If no one claims the body, the state will cremate it and put the ashes in a grave with lots of other ashes. If you donate the body to a nearby medical school, they pick up the body and return the ashes to you about a year later.
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Good idea to talk with local funeral directors.
They are supposed to be knowledgable about what a poor person can do for burial.
But, Beware: many will do anything to extract money out of family and friends, trying to get them to sign papers, contracts, agreements, choose coffins, etc., all while speaking in very sympathetic emotional manipulative voices.
Unless you feel you can deal with the cost of even a "cheap" funeral, don't sign anything a funeral director puts under your nose, unless you are Very clear what it is, and can afford the expense! No one is required to pay for a funeral for someone else, not even a family member.
It's kinda like playing a game of "hot potato" sometimes--whoever is holding the body, has to deal with it. If the person dies in hospital, the facility will try to pressure family to take the financial burden of disposal. when an elder is in a facility, and the facility wants them out of there, and no other facility has a bed.....the facility will try to coerce family every way they can pressure them, to take the elder member then becomes the "last one holding the potato", and is responsible for whatever the elder does there.

One good place to start seeking low-cost or free arrangements:
Read the main page,
then click on the State that is right for your situation.

Mom's last spouse died with literally nothing his pajamas.
We found /American Funeral and Cremation/ then, and it cost about $700.
She had to come with me to sign papers authorizing them to cremate, to be on file with a local mortuary, and which attested to the fact that he was expected to die, was in hospice at home.
Their office was in a rent-a-space. I was a bit concerned that it might be a scam, but it was not. Mom signed the papers, I prepaid the fee.
When he died, I called the mortuary.
They sent someone to pick up his body, did the cremation, then returned the ashes in a plain box, to Mom. [We had to go fetch them from the mortuary--it was a heavily tape-reinforced cardboard box, about 12"x5"x10", and heavy!].

Warning: Funeral homes will often force people to buy a cardboard "coffin" to cremate the body in. It's ridiculous.
ASK them if they require that. They shouldn't, but some will force that issue by hook or crook--it's good to ask this in advance, to give you time to look around elsewhere, or pressure them right back--time to call the State regulators to learn if it really is a State Law or not.
Pretty sure his box of ashes, were mostly that cardboard coffin.

After that, we started keeping a lookout for other ways.
We also learned that American Funeral and Cremation, seemed to go out of business, then reappeared a few years later.

We searched online for Body Donation options, too.
Bodies can be donated for scientific /medical research.
Those cremate remains, for free.
They will usually let family choose to let them dispose of remains, or, will cremate them and return the ashes to family.
We found one in Portland, Oregon, which is supposed to handle the Western States, as long as the body is Under 250 pounds. They interface with local mortuaries.
They provide tissues from cadavers, for scientific research and medical.
There are others.
Documents need to be Signed and Notarized in advance of need, and filed with the company.

Many people immediately think of donating to colleges and universities...but we learned, often those have a stockpile of cadavers, so may often refuse more donations at inconvenient times for families.

I wouldn't trust that any City would have much funding to pay for poverty funerals. Most cities and States are kinda broke these days...they can't even adequately help the living.
Some very large and prosperous churches might--but those are on the decline.

Whatever you prepay for, if that is your choice, advice is:
do the paperwork as close to the expected time of death as you can, to avoid the companies disappearing with the little bit you paid them. There is no need to prepay for services years in advance--if you do, you could get ripped off in a number of ways.

It USED to be, one could prepay for a funeral, and it was honored all over the country--the body was just shipped back to the place the arrangements were made. Extra fees got paid for "Funeral Insurance".
THAT does not exist like it did, anymore.
We asked.

There are Insurance Policies which pay some or all of funeral expenses, but they are Not usually tied to mortuaries.
Those Policies are independent [fly-by-night] insurers which usually either go out of business, or, they get bought up by other insurers....
We went through that mess, trying to track down a couple old insurance policies Mom's spouse had bought....
those companies had been bought up several times, changing names each time, finally losing the money they'd paid into a State Fund?
What a RACKET.
But even then, there is supposed to be a State Fund which holds all the money paid into those lost policy just practically takes an act of congress to extract the money out of that. It's complicated, and long process, from what I learned so far.

If you have money each month to spend on an Insurance Policy to pay for the funeral, you could put it into a savings account or Savings Bonds or something, towards the same thing--and keep control of the money yourself!
Too many who are poor, sucker into buying those policies, knowing they won't be able to pay them in full, that death will happen sooner
...and they believe the money will then be there fore their families
...but it's not assured.

Good luck!
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It is a good idea to talk to a funeral director. If no relatives or anyone else is available to assist, the State may decide burial arrangements for the deceased elder, such as cremation burial or scatter decedent's ashes at sea.
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Talk to a funeral directer they should know the rules. Unless you want to and are able do not agree to help financially.
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friend died with no burial insurance no life insurance in texas . how do in find help to get him a burial
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This question has been a total education for me as I only had vaugue knowlege on the subject. Thank you to all who took the time to contribute their knowledge.
I believe but don't know for sure that you can build your own casket. you can also rent a fancy casket for the viewing and use something simpler for the buriel. my mother was cremated in the UK over 30 years ago and the crematorium scattered the ashes on their flower beds and placed a small plaque on the wall. We could of course have had the ashes returned. When my in laws died many years later FIL was cremated and his ashes kept by the funeral home till MIL was buried several years later and his ashes were buried with her. I did not handle the finances for any of that but I know my hubby has the key to his mother's casket, not I might add that he plans to use it.
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If you or relatives don't have money, likely no funeral/burial, BUT please contact your local funeral home(s) for the least expensive arrangement IN ADVANCE. EX: 1,500 for cremation, in 12 months you pre-pay your funeral director (Trust) =$125 month. Or ask them guidance in your dilemma...
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I am my mothers only relative and I'm on physical disabilitie will theye m disability check to pay for her funeraly
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If my mother dies and I'm her only son on disability will they take my disability to bury her
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If you have no funds, family or assets call your trusted funeral director or cremation society and pre-pay even $25 a month if possible (it does add up). As a funeral director.. I've never turned any-deceased away. The funeral home will respectfully handle the details. We just don't want a phone call, story telling or lying. We work closely with other groups in the similar situations like hospice, united way or catholic charities. It's all good.
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My brother is residing in California and he is I'll but he has only Medical insurance and no asset. My question is, if he dies and we really have nothing to contribute for his funeral, who will absorb the cost to bury him?
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Apparently, over the last several years, it's become clearer to the Industry, the sweeping need for very low-cost cremations and funerals....the percentage of population living below poverty level has grown hugely.

Today, I found these by searching online; the CHEAPEST cremation or burials for Western WA State:
Peoples Memorial Association
Offices: Administration (Payment Address)

Funeral & Cremation Care Locations
Bellevue Branch, 1400 112th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98004
Kennewick Branch, 1030 N. Center Parkway, Kennewick, WA 99336
Vancouver Branch, 4400 NE 77th Ave Ste. 275, Vancouver, WA 98662

Simple Cremation of Washington & Oregon Locations:
Simple Cremation of Bellingham, 1313 E. Maple St., Bellingham, WA 98225
Simple Cremation of Olympia, 975 Carpenter Rd NE, Lacey, WA 98516
Simple Cremation of Portland, 5320 SW Macadam Ave., Portland, OR 97239
Simple Cremation of Seattle, 1700 7th Ave Ste. 2100, Seattle, WA 98101
Simple Cremation of Spokane, 1312 N. Monroe St., Spokane, WA 99201
Simple Cremation of Tacoma, 2101 Pacific Ave #600, Tacoma, WA 98402

$495.00 Simple Cremation Plan™
or $995.00 Graveside Service
or $1,495.00 Funeral Service


5 Funeral Homes Serving the Seattle & Tacoma, Washington
Low Cost Cremation Service Starts at $584
Affordable Funeral Home Services Starts at $1,299

MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 1745, Bellevue, WA 98009
Everett: 3125 Colby Avenue, 98201
Bellevue: 800 Bellevue Way, Suite 400, 98004
Renton: 100 Blaine Avenue NE, 98056
Tacoma: 7401 S. Pine Street, 98409
Olympia: 925 Capital Way S., 98501

The following Package Prices feature our most requested services:

The removal of the deceased from a care facility during normal business hours within the metropolitan areas of King, Pierce, Thurston and Snohomish counties.
The minimum services of our funeral director and staff, the basic use of our facilities and environmentally controlled sheltering of remains and the actual cremation process with minimal containers.

The Direct Cremation Package as above and includes viewing by up to 5 immediate family members.

Includes removal of deceased, transferring of casketed remains by van to local cemetery for graveside services.
Services of our funeral director and staff to arrange and direct graveside service and coordinate service with cemetery or crematory.
Basic use of our facilities, sheltering of remains and cloth covered casket is included.

Includes removal of the deceased, standard embalming at family's request, dressing and casketing.
Transferring of casketed remains to local cemetery or crematory for disposition. Services of our funeral director and staff to arrange graveside service and coordinate service with the cemetery.
Basic use of our facilities and sheltering of remains.
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Be careful of predatory funeral businesses. [I caution people based on many years of observing, as well as that family members have been in that business]

Social Security DOES have that approx. $200 death payment.
BUT, that's nowhere near the cost of even a cheap cremation, much less a burial.
When Mom's spouse was in hospice, I called around after seeing an
Ad for "American Burial and Cremation".
Learned it was THE cheapest show in the region--at that time.
Took Mom to sign papers for them to do body pick-up when he died....that company contracted with various mortuaries in the region to do that and the cremation.
It cost me about $700 out-of-pocket in 2005, pre-paid.
Everything else found at that time, cost far more.
She specified just the basic cardboard box for cremation [not a ca$ket], and no urn--just return the ashes to her in the reinforced basis box.
Once that was done, that company seemed to disappear, then reappeared--
I never quite knew when it was gonna be around or not.

PAUPER's Burial
There used to be "pauper's burials".
There still might be--but truly only for those who die with ZERO assets.
IF you have insurance policy, or ANY assets to sell to pay for funerary costs--you'll have to do that---or go into debt to pay for costs.

CHEAP programs:
Various States have various cheap programs. These come and go over time--kinda fly-by-night, but usually, there is one or more of them when needed.
Check your area for availability of these. Online makes it pretty easy.

NOT required by law anymore, BUT, may need to bury or process body within 24 or a certain time limit.
Modern mortuaries have freezers to store bodies without embalming--but too often, mortuaries coerce or out-right lie to get people to pay for embalming.... Unless they lack a freezer, or your State has some archaic laws still invoked, embalming is no longer required---especially if there's to be a cremation!
BUT...Embalming usually is required IF a whole body or parts are to be transported.

NOT required, but a cardboard container may be required by mortuary for cremation. "Green Burials" generally don't use caskets, instead opting for compostable baskets, sheets, etc. Many cemeteries still have rules mandating certain types of caskets, and/or headstones--check limitations---get it in writing!
One gal near here bought a very nice standing headstone for her Mom, but the cemetery changed the rules for headstones in the middle of her getting it made---and blocked it being installed on her Mom's grave, even though it was permitted when she started out-----so it still sits in her front yard, where all traffic can see it.

CREMATION is always cheaper than burial, unless there is a pauper's burial ground in your area, and you qualify for that.

....are ONLY good in the home area where the contract was made, unless you pay huge amounts to transport the body back to that area [like if someone dies while traveling away from home-turf].

These are usually not larger than about $10,000.
You pay monthly towards an insurance policy that's usually advertised as:
"You can use this to pay bills, gift your heirs, or pay for funeral expenses".
You'd probably be better off putting the same amount of money in a savings account [IF you start early enough].
Those companies are BETTING that the policies get lost; or that the elderly they prey on forget to pay after awhile [lapsing the policy], or otherwise don't collect on it, AFTER they got the money paid for it.
After MUCH digging, trying to find information on an old policy my folks paid into for some time, but the paper was old, the company no longer exists....
I was told "ALL Insurance companies must put some money into a common escrow account of sorts, to cover policies that get lost, since companies come and go so fast.
They might argue with you, but they MUST pay out on policies if you have the document, even if the company on the old document no longer exists" They might even argue against it when they have a copy of the policy Faxed to them---if they argue, take it to the State Insurance Commissioner to get help handling that.

This is a policy that guarantees the pre-paid funeral plans will either :
1] ship the body back home [a reciprocal agreement with other areas across the country ---[these don't always apply everywhere--beware!],
2] OR, transferred to wherever the person dies while traveling away from their home area ---[again--this does not work everywhere--beware!]
Burial Insurance does not always even exist reliably: you can pay for it, but it might disappear suddenly--your paid money along with it. OR, the area where death occurred, does not have a reciprocal agreement...which ends up money lost....often many thousands of dollars.

Medical schools all need cadavers for class use.
They are treated with utmost respect, and all tissues must be accounted for.
But they may not need any when you have a dead person to donate---
Have.A.Back-up.Plan! Colleges and Universities MIGHT facilitate body donations when contacted directly to their medical departments---but usually, not. Most of the several times I called these, they gave no referral where to offer, and, said they "had plenty--go look elsewhere"

A few Companies act as clearing-houses for scientific researches in need of tissues for their projects. These companies collect the deceased, process out whatever tissues are required for whatever studies/researches.
All tissues must be accounted for, then the remains are cremated.
When you donate a body to scientific research, there is no cost to you.
You can have the ashes returned to family, or you can let them dispose of them for you.
No cost.
BUT: there is about a 250# weight limit on bodies being picked up.
ALSO, Have.A.Back-up.Plan!--because if they are replete, they will NOT come get your loved-one's remains.
Here is one company that handles most of the Western USA:

IF your loved one travels a lot within the USA, it might be worth it to sign and pay for a higher-priced contract with Neptune Society--because they are National.
As far as I know, they are the only company doing cremations nation-wide.

People can have very strong feelings about how they want their remains handled.
So can their families--who will often go against what the person wanted.
IF you have strong feelings how you want your remains handled, put it in writing, then plan ahead to make sure it gets done as you wish!

We're looking into "Green Burials", because those don't need a coffin, don't use fuel to cremate, no embalming----just bury the body in the ground, maybe wrapped in a sheet or a compostable container--no embalming chemicals to contaminate the ground. This is the lowest-environmental impact. But not all cemeteries allow it---yet. There are only a few green-burial cemeteries in the USA--search online to find where, and look up costs.
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If you are dying of heart failure in the near future,where can a person who still has something good to offer go to work for room and board and die one point.where is the humanity.
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Cameo this was in Md but its a nationwide program. I heard about it from hospice when they came to visit mom in the hospital. We had already made arrangements with a funeral home in Virginia but this was something I know mom would have approved of. She had been signed up for years for organ donation, AGR will work with that also.
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Also.....some religious folks are highly, highly against "organ" donation. Many Christians do not like anything outside the "normal" ground burial, as is customary. My state is very, very conservative and strict Christanity prevails in my tiny town. No forward thinking allowed!
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Thanks. I wonder which state this occurred? Most folks would not want an 89 year olds organs. I think it varies state to state.
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Anatomy Gifts Registry (they have a website) took my mother last July. She was 89. These people were very easy to deal with !!
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JUST AN FYI ~ Donating body parts after death is wonderful: if your body parts are still functioning and not old. I recall (?) reading that after 75 they won't take organ donations. My issue is with someone "81".....lung cancer survivor and weaken by old age. Might be good to research the age factor in donating organs etc. Thanks for your info. Good luck.
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Why would you put your parent in this position ?
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When my husband died several years ago, as he wished I donated any parts of his that could be used (which was quite a lot), then he was cremated. Cost was less than $700. Then a few weeks later (when friends and relatives were able to get good airfare and arrange to come), we had a heck of a memorial service at his favorite fish camp with bbq, beer, music and lots of laughing and crying. Then we went out in boats and scattered his ashes at his favorite fishing spot on the lake. The party cost about $1100. Total for the whole thing, less than $1800 and the memories of people being able to tell stories and share remembrances is priceless. On the other hand, when my boyfriend's sister died a couple of years ago, the funeral cost over $22,000. It was a miserable, sad, drawn-out event with family in-fighting and a load of debt that nobody could really handle. My family goes for cremation and memorial services and his family goes for expensive funerals and long-term debt. His mother is 92 and in bad health. I'm hoping I can convince him, when the time comes, to see things my way.....
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It is $300.00 here now. I want to be cremated and my urn placed in an above the ground urn building. The thought of a body being buried underground creeps me out. I hate the thought that my mom and dad are under the ground.
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Thanks for ALL the detailed advice. A bit overwhelming. The elder is my "ex" - I am an unmarried senior baby boomer gal. We are divorced exactly because he has always refused to take life seriously, plan, prepare and still at 81 he thinks he will never die! Its pathetic. Anyway, as an ex I am not responsible in any way for him. He is around and worrisome in the small town we retired too years ago. The local yokels still look to me as though I am responsible. It's a battle I can't win. Thanks again.
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$255.00 paid to Surving spouse by SSA. Please check your states Register of Wills office for your states requirements regarding Wills. A will is one of the most important of all legal documents. It is the legal declaration of a person's intentions and desires that he directs to be carried out after his death.
I have never heard of the first $100,000. being waive without a Will. An asset, is an asset, is an asset. Even dispersering ones personal belongings should be addressed.
It is Federal Law that Social Security benefits, SSI payments, cannot be garnished by any creditor. If an overpayment of benefits, child support, owe federal taxes (15% can be taken) or federal student loan or agency they can attach funds over $750.00. If government check is deposited in an account that other funds are deposited in then that account could be seized. Keep the accounts separate.
If a person receives monies from Medicaid that state has a right to recoup their money after the person dies. It's only fair. I often hear, let the state pay for their nursing home care, well you and I are paying for that care to a tune of about $8,000.00 or more a month per person.
The trend now is to keep people out of the nursing homes and in the community where individuals are happier and it's cheaper. All part of the Affordable Health Care Act-Community First Choice (persons with disabilities) & Community Option (Long term care).
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Correction they social security did give my mother social security because my father died in 1978 and my mother was paid $200 then. Crazy!
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Social Security will give you $200. They did give it towards my mother because $200 was paid to my mother when my mother when my father died in 1978??
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