It's the last thing you want to think about when a loved one passes away, but the financial affairs of someone can be a myriad of problems depending on whether they had life insurance or not. If there are financial problems it can be a struggle to pay for their funeral, so where can you begin to sort this emotionally and financially painful problem?
The First Steps…
The first thing you need to establish is if they have the deceased has some sort of estate to manage, if so the payments for the funeral can potentially come out of the estate. It's always best to consult a probate specialist like http://eastbayattorney.com/ to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible. The funeral will need to be arranged before probate has been granted, which means that whoever organizes the funeral is liable for the funeral fees and then can recover the funeral fees from the estate of the deceased. Until the probate is granted, the bank account of the deceased will be frozen, the only exception to this rule is when there is a joint account. If raising costs for a funeral is a very difficult and taxing process for you, there are some options available.
The first thing to consider is that the costs of funerals can actually differ from funeral home to funeral home, and this can be even in the same district. Funeral homes are allowed to set their own prices, and it is not regulated by the government. So you could contact a few funeral homes to request information on their costs. Also, some local Funeral Consumers Alliances publish a price survey of funeral homes and can be a very useful asset to your search, which you can find at https://funerals.org, which conveniently arranges the information by state.
Depending on where you live, you can get burial or cremation assistance for families that are unable to pay for funeral expenses, but this is usually when the deceased received social services benefits. This is known as an indigent burial, where the government will help you pay part or, in some cases, all of the funeral costs.
It's also worth thinking about crowdfunding. In the age of the Internet, it's a very popular way of raising money, especially if you are under a tight timescale. This is especially useful, because friends and acquaintances will want to help somehow, and now you have a tangible platform for them to do so. There have been countless crowdfunding campaigns that have exceeded their targets, so if you are really in dire financial straits, this is an option worth thinking about.
It's also worth thinking about if any form of compensation can help pay for the funeral. For example, if the deceased was as a result of crime such as homicide, or automobile related, in which case the auto insurance could cover part of the funeral costs through accidental death policies.
It's not a pleasant process to go through, but it's important to know that there are various options for you just in case you may struggle to pay for the funeral costs.