Is there any funding/assistance for the funeral?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

My sister in law passed away yesterday morning in Atlanta, Georgia. I have been able to secure most of the expenses (Thank G-d) with the generosity of the Jewish Federation and Dressners Funeral home but there is still an opening/closing and lining charge of approximately 2,500. I am a widow living on disability income and the only living family. Is there any organization that can help me? I live in Ocala, Florida and will have to scrape just to get the fuel cost to drive up there. Thank you for any help or advise you can share.

Expert Answers

Rebekah Peoples, CFSP, CPC, Is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She is passionate about serving others and believes that giving clients honest, accurate information empowers them to create tributes and services that are meaningful and appropriate. Her tips about funerals and life can be found at

It's good that you've been able to get assistance from the Jewish Federation and the funeral home. Each of those should be able to also give you some advice with the charges you mention. Those expenses are from the cemetery and someone at the cemetery should be able to give you guidance and maybe even suggest where you could get a loan for that amount if the following don't apply.

If she was widowed, is there a chance that her husband was a veteran, was buried in a veterans cemetery or that she herself is a veteran? If you can answer yes to any of those questions, she is eligible for burial in a veterans cemetery.

Another option is to check into any assets she has. Even if she was in a nursing home facility, she would be allowed to have a certain amount in a savings or checking account. Check with her attorney or power of attorney to see if there are any bank accounts or life insurance. If she was in a nursing home, check with the social worker at that facility. If she had no assets, ask the funeral home if your sister-in-law's funeral expenses might be eligible for public assistance or social services help. Most funeral homes are familiar and have a working relationship with the local public assistance office.

It's very nice that you've taken special care to ensure that your sister-in-law's arrangements are handled well and with respect.