Funerals can cost thousands of dollars, and not everyone has the money to cover this expense. In the state of Minnesota, assistance is available to those with a loved one who passed away in this situation. This assistance provides a no-frills cremation or burial and is available in every Minnesota county, in accordance with Minnesota law.
As shown by the Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes, "indigent burials" are discussed in Minnesota Statute 261.035, "Cremation, Burial and Funerals at Expense of County." This statute indicates that, should a person be unable to afford the cost of a funeral, the board for the county in which the deceased was a resident will cover expenses.
Amount of Assistance
Funding for indigent burials varies by county. In most counties, expenses are capped somewhere between $1,500 and $3,500. As budgets are revisited routinely, you should contact the county to determine the exact amount available to you at the time of application.
How to Apply
Because indigent burials are covered by the counties, visit your county's social services office to apply for burial assistance. If you are not sure where your local office is located, visit your county website -- the Association of Minnesota Counties provides links to each county website. Each county website should have information about its indigent burial services, along with addresses and phone numbers for the programs. Some counties allow you to apply for assistance online.
Minnesota law dictates that those who receive indigent burials will receive cremation unless someone can show that the deceased did not desire this. Additionally, indigent burials consist of the most basic services. They are provided only if the county cannot find anyone to assume responsibility for the burial. Lastly, if the county pays for an indigent burial, it can make a claim against the estate to recover the expense, as indicated in Minnesota Statute 261.04, "Liability of Estate."
Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.