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Q & A: Help With Funeral Expenses

From http://www.marysrosaries.com/

“Let life be like music. And death a note unsaid.” -Langston Hughes

The loss of a loved one can be devastating… and can be devastating financially if you are bearing the burden of the cost on your own. We wanted to share some options for Marion County residents who are financially in need, to help ease the expense. We’re breaking the options down into: Lower Cost, Benefits, and Can’t Pay.

Lower Cost:

Burial: If you want to have a full service funeral with a viewing of your loved one who has passed, there are still ways to save money. Consumer Services provides very clear and critical information on your rights to cost information and what to ask when exploring this option. The lowest cost for a full body burial, including a lot, in Marion County at this time is an average of $8,000 (We called 3 funeral homes throughout Marion County for this information.)

Additional ways you can potentially save on the funeral are buying your casket yourself either online or from a large retailer in your community. However we found that depending on the funeral home you choose, their cheapest casket costs are comparable at as low as $895.

Cremation: This is quite a bit cheaper than burial services. You can also just make use of the cremation service itself and then have your own private ceremony at a location of your choosing for free. In Marion County, cremation can be as low as $1,190

Payment Accommodations: There are some agencies in Marion County who are willing to accept a down payment and arrange a payment plan depending on your circumstances. However, most funeral homes do not offer payment plans once your loved one is deceased. There are payment plan options prior to passing, however sometimes full payment may be required at the time of death. So call around to see who is willing to work with you.

Benefits

Insurance: If the loved one who passed had health insurance, most health insurance plans include coverage in for expenses in case of death.

Veteran: Veterans, their spouses and dependents are entitled to burial benefits and a burial allowance.  For more information simply dial 2-1-1.

Social Security: The Social Security Administration provides a one time payment of $255 to those who qualify to assist with burial expenses.

Can’t Pay.

Science: Before you pass if you would like to donate your remains for scientific research, then your body can be cremated for free post research. The University of Florida offers this service with the cost of embalming and transportation. The estimated time for receipt of remains is 1-2 years for UF. However, there are also national companies that offer this service, such as MedCure and Science Care, for FREE, covering all costs including cremation and returning the remains to the family. The estimated time for receipt of remains with these agencies is a few weeks. This process requires the signed approval of the individual who has passed away.

Unclaimed: While this is not an encouraged option, if someone has passed and their body is not claimed, then the county will cremate the remains of the community member who has passed. The remains will not be returned to the family in this case. This service is paid for by the county.

Fundraiser: When in need remember to turn to those in your community such as churches, friends and family. They may be able to assist. There are also websites online which can help you to raise funds to cover the costs of the funeral.

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