At the end of life, you desire to honor your loved ones with a proper funeral. You want to celebrate life and treat the deceased with honor, dignity and respect. Unfortunately, funeral arrangements can be very expensive, especially if your loved one has little or no life insurance. Finding a way to pay for these arrangements can add enormous pressure to the grief you are already feeling. Here is how to find money to help with a funeral.
If you're not sure where to turn for financial assistance for a funeral, contact your county's treasurer or public administrator. Some counties have financial programs in place to support low-income families with burial. However, this assistance probably won't help with the cost of a casket. Cremation may be the only assistance provided by your county.
If the deceased person has paid into Social Security, you may be eligible for funeral assistance. The amount the Social Security Administration provides is under $1,000, but this money could alleviate a small portion of the financial burden of the funeral.
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs offers funeral assistance to spouses, children and parents of a veteran who has passed away. You can find more information about qualifications and how to apply at the Veterans Affairs website (see References).
Consider asking the funeral attendants for monetary donations in lieu of flowers. Your loved one can be honored without breaking the bank when each person contributes a small amount to help carry the weight of the financial responsibility.
If any of your family members has good credit, consider taking out a loan for the amount of the funeral. When a loved one dies, the family often has to chip in to provide the financing for the funeral. A loan may be the only viable option if many of your family members have low incomes.
Your church can help to ease the financial burden in a number of ways. Your priest or pastor may officiate the funeral for free. The church may provide an offering to help you with the costs. The church can also provide a place to host a small funeral or memorial service at little or no cost. Instead of having the funeral service at a funeral home, a more casual memorial service where loved ones celebrate the life of the deceased can provide a fitting tribute for much less money.
- When the Sun Sets; Geoffrey C. Carnell; 1998
- Veterans Affairs: Benefits for Survivors and Dependents
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