4 Resources That Might Help Pay For Funeral Expenses When You Can’t

April 2, 2018 at 11:10 AM Leave a comment

It might sound like it’s the end when someone dies – but for the people left behind, the expense and grief are just beginning and might be more than they can handle. A funeral can cost thousands of dollars, sometimes well over $10,000.

Even if you choose cremation, it is still a hefty expense that not everyone has saved. Although it’s important to honor your loved one and gather people around to share stories and memories, how can you give your loved one a proper send-off if you don’t have the money?

Obviously, the best way to pay for a funeral is to plan in advance. But there are times when you can’t do that due to limited finances, and often when you are trying to find the budget to live your life, the last thing on your mind is to budget for your death too. Before you automatically assume that the person you lost didn’t make any prior arrangements, make sure to find out whether they did make some provisions.


Don’t wait until after the funeral to begin to look through the estate planning. Often people don’t do enough investigation to ensure that there were no arrangements made beforehand. You want to make sure that if your loved one had any special requests or if they had insurance, you know before you plan the funeral. Look for things like:

  • Funeral insurance. There are several types of funeral insurance policies that people can take out, so don’t just assume that there is none
  • Life insurance. If the person had life insurance, then you can use some of the funds from the life insurance to pay for their funeral expenses. Make sure you remember to check with their former employer
  • Any pre-planning programs they might have been engaged in
  • Totten trust account, which is also known as a death account, which is payable once the person is deceased

Crowdfunding or creative fundraising

If your loved one was an established member of the community with many friends and family members, you don’t have to shoulder the burden alone. Many people might be willing to chip in to commemorate your deceased loved one. Try fundraising such as:

  • Asking in church for a special offering
  • Hold a fundraising event
  • Online crowdfunding sources
  • Create a memorial fund at your local bank and have people donate to it
  • See if the church they attended have any special programs to help pay for funeral costs for those who don’t have the means

Government assistance

The government provides help for funeral costs, but the money is minimal. If the person was a part of a specific group they might be entitled to one at the state level; check into this if they were:

  • A part of the armed forces
  • They were a social services worker or they worked for the public
  • Some of the programs are available to anyone, while others are only available to family members
  • Social Security benefits – although they are not much; you are entitled to a lump sum of $255 for funeral costs
  • Medicare will sometimes have funds allocated for aftercare like funeral arrangements
  • Medicaid will also sometimes have funds available
  • If they worked for the railroad
  • If they were of Indian descent

Free or low-cost options

Although you want to give your loved one a proper send-off, that doesn’t mean that you have to spend your life savings to do so. You know that they wouldn’t want you to sacrifice what you have earned and saved in order to lay them to rest. Consider being creative and trying lower- cost options or even free ones.

  • Donate the body. If you want to make sense of their death, donate their body to science. That way their death might bring about some good
  • Direct cremation is much more eco-friendly and the cost is minimal
  • Have a memorial service at home or even at a determined locale
  • Some states will allow you to bury your loved one on family property, but you have to check with the state where you reside

Losing someone is tough enough for those who are left behind. Make sure to contact a Winnipeg funeral assistance professional. If you don’t have the budget to lay your loved one to rest the way that you wish you could, remember – they are gone, and as long as you let their memory live on, that is how they truly would want you to honor them. You don’t have to spend your life savings on a one-day event.

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