A concern for those who are elderly or who have an elderly loved one is how to cover burial expenses. In the state of Georgia, you may be eligible to receive help from state government offices. Those not eligible for state aid still may receive help from other organizations, work with funeral directors for the state and consider alternatives to regular burial.
Those who need assistance with cremation or burial in Georgia should contact their county branch of the Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS). DFCS lists each county office through the "County Offices" section of its website. Once you have the contact information for your local office, you can find out from DFCS representatives what aid, if any, is available to you. Funds for burial assistance through the Georgia DFCS vary from year to year based on the state budget.
Outside of DFCS, independent organizations provide assistance to those who need burial help under specific circumstances or who do not qualify for aid through DFCS. A primary example is the Memorial Society of Georgia. This organization, which is based out of the Atlanta area, requires you to pay a fee for membership before you can receive help, but the fee is fairly low — $35 as of 2011. The society capped fees for a simple cremation at $1,095 in 2011; it capped simple burial costs at $2,050. Another organization is Children's Burial Assistance, Inc., which provides help with costs associated only with the burial of minor children.
State Funeral Directors
One of the best places to get help with funeral expenses is the Georgia Funeral Directors Association. This group lists all the funeral directors who are members of the GFDA. Through this organization, you can find out what directors, if any, will work out discounts or payment arrangements. The directors also can give you information about what you do and do not have to include in a Georgia funeral by law, as they are required by law to uphold these stipulations.
As in any other state, assistance for burial costs may be available through your local churches and hospitals. You also may want to consider donating the body for scientific research, as the knowledge doctors and laboratory workers gain through the study of the corpse may let some good come of the death. Additionally, Georgia has made changes to how burial assistance is treated through Medicaid. At the time of publication, you may exclude only $1,500 of your burial expenses.