Thursday, January 20, 2011
Increase in Pauper Burials
This WSJ article begins with the statement "Times are tough, even for the dead." Yes, the slow economy has brought financial challenges to the funeral industry -- often thought to be recession proof. Sadly, with the increased number of people qualifying for Medicaid, there has been an increase in the number of people who then qualify for a state paid funeral. If you qualify for MA, the State paid....at least it did until the budget crisis hit. While most people do not set out to qualify for MA, this article underscores the importance of having your estate plan in order -- a list of people who should be contacted, and ideally completing the State's Authorization for Final Disposition form. It allows you to appoint a first and second choice for who should coordinate your final disposition....burial or cremation. As I always say, estate planning boils down to taking control.