In the case of the untimely death of a person who has made no advance preparations for funeral and burial expenses, the financial burden on immediate survivors of the deceased can be overwhelming. Every aspect of the care of a person's remains entails a fee — from the minute the funeral service receives notification of the death until the burial or cremation is complete. Financial assistance, however, is available from a few different sources.
Determine if the deceased person qualifies for any entitlements. Check with the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs and your State Fund. Many people qualify for financial assistance with their funeral costs from these agencies.
Discuss a payment plan with the funeral home and cemetery. Most funeral home and cemeteries provide short-term and long-term payment plans to cover all funeral expenses. Ask for an affordable plan to help with funeral expenses.
Ask the funeral home about any discounts that might be available for many caskets, obituaries and flowers.
Review all insurance policies of the deceased person, including life insurance. Some life insurance policies have coverage clauses for funeral-related costs. Also, find out if the person has an insurance policy for funeral and burial costs.
Find local charities providing financial help for funeral expenses. Search for nonprofit organizations and for churches in your area.