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He wants to make me his power of atty, and I said I would take care of him. His health is not good. I'm afraid I will be responsible for his funeral and other expenses at some point. I want to take out a policy that will allow me to pay his expenses. I am unemployed, so I cannot afford hundreds of dollars a month for a policy

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Rosie has it pinned down. You will likely have problems finding a policy, but check anyway. Look for an insurance agent who brokers for several companies so there are choices.

If you plan on doing this, you need to do it soon, as most companies aren't going to insure someone who has such a poor prognosis that they will die within a couple of months.

You are a wonderful friend to this person, but unless you have some legal agreement that makes you responsible for his debts, you won't actually be responsible to the burial. Yet, we all want a dignified end for our loved ones. Best wishes for you and your friend.
Carol
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My father was 73 and had suffered 2 strokes. He could only find 1 company to insure him and they would only sell him a 3000.00 policy. He paid 41.50 each mth. He had to have it in effect for 2 yrs before it would pay out upon his death. (Which it did) If there is a history of bad health it will be hard to find someone to insure your friend. Contact an insurance agent and give them his info and they will find an insurance company to work with you. As for POA, get it done now and if he is comfortable with you making decisions about his health care if he can't then you need to get medical power of attorney too. If he has family you may want to get it in writing that he wishes for you to make his final arrangements upon his death. Good Luck and Thanks for being such a Good friend!!
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If they are getting Social Security there is a death benefit of about $ 250.00 for the next of kin. I don't know how this works if you are not "family" but do look into how that needs to happen so that you have those funds to use. Most FH have the ability to have the next of kin sign off for the FH to get the SS death benefit which is applied towards the funeral. But make sure you have whatever legal needed so you can make this happen.

Perhaps you two can discuss something other than a traditional funeral & burial?
It is very expensive - even if you have a policy. My mom has a prepaid funeral policy and even with that not everything is included. Like floral is extra, police escort is extra as that is set by the city or the county.

What about a cremation? This should run under $ 1,000.00. Your friend could choose the urn in advance and decide on where for it to go. Costco sells urns and most states allow for this to be done. there are all types too…fancy bronze ones and even "green" ones designed for tossing out into the ocean or lake. If there are other family, you could get the ashes placed in a couple of urns, for you and for them. It is wonderful you can help out your friend in this way.
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I am sincerely not making light of your situation, just providing an alternative.

You are a good friend. Money should not become your worry. We make a big deal of funerals, but frankly how important are they? Do they need to be traditional?

I suggest you continue to give your friend the most valuable gift you can....support and time in this scary final stage of life. Spend time and whatever financial resources you can to enjoy life, have dinner, bring ice cream to the NH, recall old times, look at old pictures, whatever you both can still enjoy together. Still healthy enough for an outing?

Cremation and even remains disposition is provided in my County by the medical examiner's office. It is a dignified end, very low cost. For deceased already on government aid. I believe it is free. Check to see what your County offers. The SS benefit would likely be enough to cover this option. Check the web page.

As far as a funeral in a funeral home, it can be very expensive, I have paid for 3 and arranged 2 more....EXPENSIVE. Necessitated only by tradition and societal expectation. At the end of the day you are paying for a venue for people to gather and remember.
If your friend is a church member the pastor, minister or priest should be available for a blessing or you can request a Mass. Invite grievors to the memorial and host them at your house, another friends house, or even a park for a time of rememberance....share stories, shake hands and take solace in the fact you supported your friend in life and saw him off in death.

Raise a toast to your friend and celebrate his life.
Minimize his afterlife expenses.

Best of luck to you,
L
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This is something that should be discussed up front with your friend. What are his wishes in regards to burial or cremation? This type of discussion need not be uncomfortable as you want to do right by him. Also, it is not fair that you should have to be left wondering how to do this. I am in agreement with others here that it need not be anything elaborate. Find ways to cut the expense. My aunt was cremated. My dad made the box for her ashes and we had a simple graveside service with my cousin's wife reading some scripture and we all said some words. Just a few of us attendance as my aunt had no family other than my dad and a sister in law and a few nieces and nephews who could be there. Then we went to another person's home for a meal and sharing memories. It was perfect. My dad is 92 and before I move him here in December, I want him to take out a policy at a local funeral home to prefund his burial expenses in case he should spend all his assets before dying. That way none of us get stuck with paying thousands of dollars.
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