Passing Without a Plan
It may seem hard to conceive, but many Americans pass away in care facilities without any life insurance policy or savings for final arrangements. Often, when a needy senior citizen passes in a care center, the financial burden of a burial, cremation, or any type of service becomes the responsibility of the family and relatives left behind.
What Services Are Available?
If a loved one has passed without any savings, there are a few options for families who need assistance in paying for services. Some things to consider are:
Insurance Policy – Prior to a person being assigned to long term care, it is possible that he/she may have purchased a pre-need plan or funeral-related insurance policy. Begin by doing some research from previous employers or contact an agent.
Estate/Property – Although the deceased may have had invested in property, if a will was not created, it may take a very long time to release the funds of an estate or property.
Social Security or Veterans Benefits – Check to see if the deceased is eligible for Social Security benefits that may cover part of the costs of the service. Also, if he/she was a veteran, check with the US Department of Veterans Affairs regarding a possible reimbursement.
Funeral Loans/Credit Financing – If none of the above applies, find out if the funeral home/cremation service offers loans. However, funeral homes usually ask for payment upfront because funeral service providers have to be paid first.
State of Residence – If there is no one else to shoulder the expenses of the deceased, the local government will help, but with very limited options. Direct cremation is almost always the first choice, but if a funeral is desired, some states will pay the funeral home directly. This is called the Burial Assistance Program.
Body Donation – In some places, the agreement to donate a deceased person’s body to science and research has to be done prior to death. If this is the last resort, then the state will cremate the rest of the body and return the ashes to the family at no cost.
Cremation – For many surviving families and relatives who have no way of affording an expensive burial/funeral service, the best option is cremation. Cremation is low cost, simple, and gentle on the environment. Cremation allows families to have a memorial without paying for burial plots or embalming. In fact, the scattering of the ashes in a beloved place or keeping the urn at home can be one of the most meaningful ways to celebrate the deceased’s person’s life.
How Can We Help?
Some Americans are not able to set aside funds or pre-plan for their end-of-life arrangements. The burden of paying for services after death therefore falls on the family, relatives, and even on the state government. National Cremation Society offers assistance in both prearrangement and immediate need situations.
We all have to face the inevitable, that’s why it is wise to plan for our end-of-life arrangements. Pre-planning cremation comes with many benefits. We ease the hardship on our family during a time of crisis so they can focus on more important matters such as grieving and attending to our legal or financial affairs. We do not have to worry about excessive costs because a pre-planned National Cremation Society cremation service locks in today’s rates. Pre-planning cremation is truly a priceless gift for our surviving family and relatives.