It’s no secret that funerals can be expensive. Funeral costs add up fast and the decedent’s loved ones can find themselves paying thousands of dollars during their time of mourning. In a wrongful death situation, funerals are often an unexpected expense. The sudden nature of wrongful death cases means that the person that passed away may not have had funeral insurance or made other plans that would alleviate the costs for their survivors.
Paying for the Funeral
Though nothing can make up for the loss, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the funeral expenses if you’ve lost a loved one due to wrongful death. In these types of situations, a wrongful death settlement can be the most helpful way to recover funeral expenses. A qualified attorney will be able to evaluate your case and determine if you have a valid claim. If you do, then your attorney fight for fair compensation on your behalf.
Some cases are settled quickly outside of court, but it may take a while before you receive the settlement amount. This is particularly true if a settlement is unable to be negotiated outside of court and your wrongful death lawyer takes your case to trial.
In the meantime, if you’re finding it difficult to pay for the funeral it helps to know your options. There are ways to keep the expenses down. The survivors of the deceased will often feel obligated to pay to for an elaborate burial to show how much they loved the person. It’s important to not feel pressured to choose funeral options that are more than you can afford after the estate of the deceased and other payment options are exhausted.
Funeral expenses can vary and depend on the type of service preferred. A traditional funeral involves various expenses such as a viewing, service, hearse, burial, or cremation. To help cut the costs of a funeral, the survivors may choose to go with two less expensive types of funerals such as:
- Direct Burial: In this type of funeral the deceased is buried shortly following the death. They are typically buried in a modest container. Unlike a more traditional service, embalming does not occur. Viewing and visitation are not an option, but a memorial service can be performed. The memorial service may be held at the burial site. A direct burial is typically cheaper than a traditional funeral.
- Direct Cremation: This is another option that is less expensive than a traditional funeral. Direct cremation involves cremating the deceased shortly after death. Again, embalming is not an added expense in this type of funeral. The cremated remains are placed in a container or urn. From there, the choice is up to the loved ones whether they would like the remains buried, placed in a crypt, or scattered. Of course, the loved ones may also keep the urn with them as a memorial to the deceased. A memorial service may be performed with this type of funeral.
Funeral expenses may be paid by the deceased’s estate if funeral expenses were not already set aside or if funeral insurance is not available. In Florida, those that meet the poverty guidelines may qualify for assistance. This is determined by each county’s Health & Human Services. Contact the Florida Health and Human Services department for assistance.
For more information, speak to our wrongful death lawyers.