What Happens if You Can’t Pay for Funeral Home Services?

By: Schilling Funeral Home & Cremation
Monday, January 17, 2022

Funerals don’t have to be extravagant and expensive, but they do cost money. What do you do if you can’t afford a funeral at a funeral home in Fulton, IL?  

Here are answers to common questions surrounding paying for funerals and cremation services:  

  1. Are there government bodies that help with funeral costs? There are several government organizations that can help with final disposition and funeral costs including Social Security, State Department of Health, Veteran’s Affairs, and even FEMA if the deceased died in a natural disaster.  
  2. Can you get a funeral loan? Anyone can apply for a funeral loan to get help paying for funeral expenses. They are generally available through credit unions, banks, and online lenders.  
  3. Is body donation free? Donating a body to research does result in a no-cost cremation. You can donate your body to science through institutions like medical laboratories, medical schools, and local hospitals.  
  4. Do you have to have a funeral? You’re not required to have a funeral. So, if you can’t afford one, you don’t have to worry. You’re more than welcome to select a direct burial or direct cremation option (the most affordable final disposition services) in order to save money. But if you want to have a funeral or service, there are ways to do so without spending too much money.  
  5. Are there free cremations or burials? If you cannot afford a burial or cremation, you can sign a form with the county coroner’s office and the state will bury or cremate the body for you. This will be at no cost, but you won’t have any say in where or how.  
  6. How do you pay for a funeral with little or no money? There are many ways to cover funeral expenses, including low-cost options and fund raising.  
  7. Who pays for the funeral if the deceased has no money? If there isn’t any money in the deceased’s estate, the next-of-kin traditionally pays for funeral expenses. If the next-of-kin aren’t able or don’t want to pay, there won’t be a funeral.  
  8. What happens if you refuse to pay for a funeral? The funeral home is not obligated to take custody of a body. If a family does not or will not pay, the funeral home does not have to accept the body. If the funeral home already has custody of the body and the family refuses to pay, the funeral home will pause all funeral services and planning, store the body in the cooler, and charge the family a storage fee for every day the body is there. The funeral home as the right to refuse services and can transfer the body to the state at any time, but they cannot hold a body hostage in order to get payment.  

Paying for a service at a Fulton, IL funeral home can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Take time now to preplan for your eventual passing, including how your loved ones will pay for your services. Schilling Funeral Home & Cremation is here to help if you would like to learn more about preplanning or dealing with a recent loss.   

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