By: Rebecca L. Nichols, Esq.

Published at

2 July 2024

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Who Pays for a Decedent’s Funeral, and Interment Expenses?

Some individuals make arrangements for their funeral or burial expenses during their lifetimes. You can achieve this using pre-need funeral insurance and merchandise or service contracts. But what if someone fails to make arrangements for their funeral during their lifetime? Who is responsible for paying the funeral or cremation expenses?  

As Per the Order of Payment of Expenses and Obligations, Florida Statute 733.707

In Florida probate law, the personal representative must pay the decedent's funeral expenses in a specific order.

  1. Class 1:  This includes costs, expenses of administration, and compensation of personal representatives, along with their attorneys' fees as awarded. 733.106(3). The estate has enough money to pay the decedent's funeral costs. Then the estate can cover the burial cost and grave maker expenses.
  2. Class 2: Reasonable burial expenses that do not exceed $6,000.00 hold a preferred class in the order of payment of estate expenses or creditors in a probate administration.  

Who is responsible for paying for a decedent's funeral expenses?

The responsibility for paying for a decedent's funeral and interment and grave maker's expenses can vary depending on the circumstances. In general, the following parties may be responsible:

  1.  The decedent's estate:  When someone dies with money or property, their estate can use it to pay for the funeral and burial expenses. This can help alleviate the financial burden on the family during this difficult time. The assets left behind by the deceased can cover the average costs associated with their final arrangements. Considering these financial resources when planning a funeral is important.
  2. The decedent's family or loved ones:  When the decedent does not have sufficient assets to cover the expenses, their family or loved ones may be responsible for paying the basic service fees.
  3. The government or social services:  If someone can't afford a funeral, the government or social services might help with the cremation costs. This assistance can reduce the financial burden of organizing a funeral and burial. It allows family members to pay tribute to their loved ones. The government and social services assist people in paying for funerals and burials. This ensures that everyone can have a dignified end-of-life service. 
  4. Pre-paid funeral plans: If the decedent had pre-paid for their funeral and interment arrangements such as finalizing and purchasing a casket and opting for funeral options. The decedent's funds would cover the costs. The way to pay for a deceased person's funeral can differ based on where you are and the situation.

Organizing a funeral? Here are a few aspects to ponder before finalizing the preparations. 

As an individual making funeral arrangements, you should proceed with caution.  

  1. The funeral costs in Florida must be fair. One needs enough assets in their probate estate to pay for the expenses.   
  2. Before spending money on a funeral, it's important to check the dead person's belongings. These assets are part of the probate process in Florida.  
  3. Funeral directors can make the person arranging the funeral responsible for any bill over $6,000.00, or when there is not enough money to cover the funeral expenses.

Funeral Insurance and Pre-Planning for Interment Expenses: 

To help alleviate the financial burden, some individuals purchase funeral insurance or pre-plan their funeral and interment arrangements. 

  1. Funeral insurance is a type of life insurance that pays for funeral expenses, burial, and headstone costs, and other graveside services.  
  2. Pre-planning involves making arrangements and pre-paying for the desired funeral and interment services.

Funeral insurance and pre-planning can bring peace of mind to people and their families. Cover burial costs and ensure that you carry out the person's wishes. Planning can save money because you can lock in the prices for funeral services when you pre-pay.

Don't have enough to plan for funeral expenses? Financial assistance for interment expenses:

If you can't afford a funeral, there may be help available for the costs.

  1. Government programs: Government agencies like social services or Veterans Affairs may provide financial assistance for burial expenses for certain individuals. This help can cover burial or cremation expenses, buying a burial plot, or transporting the deceased person.  To get help, you must meet certain requirements such as income, military service, or criteria set by the agency. Typically, these requirements are necessary to qualify for help. The agency sets these criteria to determine who is eligible for assistance. Government agencies provide money to help people pay for a respectful burial for their family members. This support aims to alleviate any financial burdens that may arise during this difficult time. The goal is to ensure everyone can give their loved ones a proper farewell without worrying about money. People who need help should contact these agencies to learn about the programs and requirements they offer.
  2. Non-profit organizations: Non-profit organizations work for the public good and do not focus on making money. These organizations help people and families in need, including covering funeral costs. Non-profit organizations offer grants or financial assistance for funeral expenses to help those dealing with loss and grief. These organizations can help with money for funeral services, burial or cremation, transportation, and other costs. Non-profit organizations help with funeral costs, but people must meet certain requirements to get assistance. This could mean demonstrating that you require financial assistance. It could also involve providing evidence that the deceased individual was a family member. Additionally, you may need to adhere to other regulations set by the organization. Non-profit organizations can provide more than just money. They offer help and comfort to people and families dealing with the death of a loved one through counseling and resources. These groups help people with planning and paying for funerals, which can be hard and stressful.
  3. Crowdfunding: Online fundraising sites simplify requesting financial assistance from friends, family, and strangers. This can be especially helpful during difficult times, such as when you struggle to cover the burial costs. These platforms provide a convenient way to reach out for support and gather donations from a wide network of people. You can use these platforms to make a fundraising page for your loved one. Share their story, funeral details, and the amount of money needed. Online fundraising sites provide financial support and a platform for friends and family to honor and remember loved ones. Users can leave messages, share memories, and offer condolences on these sites. Using online fundraising sites can help with burial costs and provide community support during a tough time.
  4. Funeral home assistance: Losing a loved one is hard. The funeral and burial fees can make it even more stressful for families. In these cases, funeral homes may help by offering payment plans or financial aid to lessen the financial burden. Payment plans help families by allowing them to pay for funeral and burial expenses in installments over time. This helps those who may not have the money all at once. This can be especially useful for families with limited funds or facing unexpected expenses. Some funeral homes may provide financial assistance programs to help cover the funeral and burial expenses. They may also offer payment plans to make it easier for families to manage the costs. These programs assist families by covering funeral fees, relieving them of financial burden. This support enables families to give their loved ones a dignified farewell. Funeral homes can offer payment plans and financial aid to help families during a tough and emotional time. It allows them to focus on honoring their loved one's memory without the added money worries and stress.

Research all financial assistance options to ensure a dignified burial for the deceased.


The blog says paying for a dead person's funeral and final ceremonies can be expensive and complex. It depends on various factors, including the decedent’s assets, pre-paid arrangements, and available financial assistance. Florida probate law focuses on funerals and burial expenses before other debts in the estate.

Understanding the responsibilities and options is crucial for individuals and families facing these emotional circumstances.  People should plan to ensure their loved ones have a proper burial and handle finances well. They should use resources wisely and seek legal advice when needed. 

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