January 21, 2021

What Happens if You Can’t Afford a Funeral?

The thought of not being able to afford a funeral after your loved one has passed away can be a very scary thing. You want to honor your family members respectfully and a funeral is a perfect way to do that. It allows friends and family to come by and say their respects. If you can’t afford a funeral, you may be able to get a Funeral Expense Payment from the government. Many states will offer programs to help families cover the cost of a funeral or burial. 

Unfortunately, in the state of Nebraska, they do not offer funeral or burial assistance. Help may be available through the county by using a General Assistance Program, but this will vary from county to county. If a specific county offers funeral or burial services, the amount is rarely more than $1,000. Not everyone requesting financial assistance will be granted funding due to the qualifications for the program. Assistance is based on financial need and the money is only used for basic services. To apply, you can visit the website or click here! Navigate to the county for where the deceased resided and contact the local officials. 

*for a full list of states that offer government assistance, click here

Pay Using the Bank Account of the Deceased

Depending on the situation, a funeral or burial may be paid for using the bank account of the person who died. If the account has been frozen, an executor or administrator of the estate will have to access the money. 

To get access to your loved one’s bank account, you’ll need to acquire a copy of the death certificate and an official invoice from the funeral with your name on it that lists the approximate costs. Often times, the person trying to access the money will need proof of identity and relation to the deceased. If the bank approves, the money will be paid directly to the funeral provider. 

Even if you know the PIN or banking information for the deceased, you can get into legal trouble if you access their account before receiving approval from the bank. 

Cover the Cost Through Estate Funds

If your family can gather enough money to pay for the funeral temporarily, either through a credit card payment or loan, you may be able to recover the costs after the estate funds have been executed through the will. 

Before making this decision, speak with the administer of the will to find out the value of the estate after securing all debts – such as car payments, credit card debt, or mortgage. Once you know the remaining amount, you can determine the type of funeral that your family can afford. 

If there isn’t sufficient money in the deceased person’s estate, the person who signs the funeral contract is responsible for the remaining balance. 

What Happens if the Estate Has No Money

After all the debts from the deceased are secured, if there is no money left over, families will have to begin searching for other options. This can be stressful on its own, but when you add it on top of your loved one dying, it can be unbearable. Luckily, there are other options for families to consider. 

Crowdfunding: Throughout the years, there have been very successful crowdfunding campaigns done by families needing assistance for funeral costs. Creating a campaign and sending it out to family and friends can be a good way to receive funding for a proper funeral or burial. The majority of crowdfunding sites are free to use, but a processing fee may be assessed to withdraw the money. Sites like GoFundMe are utilized often by people looking for funeral assistance. 

Veterans Benefits: The Veterans Benefits Administration (VA) can help you determine if military benefits are available for your family members. Eligible surviving spouses and children can receive a tax-free cash payment to cover funeral and burial expenses if the deceased was in the military. 

Employer Help: On some occasions, an employer may offer death benefits to their employees which may be passed on to surviving family members. Life insurance, death insurance, pension, and retirement might all be available. Make sure to ask your loved one’s employer if they offer such benefits. 

We Are Here To Help 

When you lose a loved one, we know the type of pain your family is dealing with. Planning the funeral, notifying family members, determining costs, and executing the will, are huge stresses on any family. Our dedicated team is here to help you along the whole process. It’s our goal to take the stress off your shoulders and create an easy and comforting experience for everyone involved. If you have any questions on the next step to take or you would like to plan ahead, contact our office! 

We’re here for you. (402)-474-3600


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