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Final Expense & Burial Insurance in Maryland

Maryland State FlagAcross the nation, funerals are becoming more expensive. And if you arrange for a funeral in Maryland, you should expect to pay prices above the national average. But the price you pay will depend on what kind of service you have, the transportation used, and where you hold the funeral. All this adds up to financial stress for the families of those who pass without planning for their funeral.

That’s why so many people are making their own funeral arrangements while they’re still alive. They feel the need to take these steps, so their loved ones don’t experience the financial stress that comes with the high costs of funerals.

And some people decide to leave behind enough to pay for other expenses as well. For instance, you can leave money to pay for your final medical bills. You can even leave some cash for those you leave behind.

But every state has specific laws and regulations that determine how to handle death care and final expense insurance — and Maryland is no exception. What follows is an overview of how Maryland regulates these issues. Use the information we provide to pre-plan your funeral and eliminate the burden from your loved ones.

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The Funeral Rule

Federal law dictates basic laws surrounding burial services. Known as the Funeral Rule, these rules apply to every state and are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

  • Pricing – Funeral homes must quote prices for products and services over the phone if requested. In person, they must provide a general price list, a casket price list, and a burial container price list (when applicable).
  • Contracts – An itemized statement of charges and estimates must be provided before a contract is signed.
  • Pre-Need Funeral Plans – FTC laws do not apply to the language of pre-need contracts. They do not govern payment options, costs, modifications, transfers, cancellations, or administrative fees.

Funeral & Burial Expectations in Maryland

Maryland, like every other state, uses its laws and requirements that govern what happens when someone dies. Here are the rules you have to follow when someone dies in the state.

Death Certificates

The State of Maryland does not require people to work with a funeral director to complete and file a death certificate. In fact, anyone can complete and file it as long as they do it within 72 hours of death. But before it can be filed, the deceased’s doctor, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, or medical examiner has to complete the medical portion of the certificate. They must do this within 24 hours of death.

Once the medical portion is complete, anyone can file the death certificate with the state. This can be done electronically or by using a paper copy.

Maryland law also uses the signed death certificate as a permit to move a body for final disposition.

Embalming and Refrigeration

Maryland has no laws or regulations regarding embalming. It is not required, so if you do not want to pay for it, ask the funeral home to provide refrigeration. If the final arrangements will take place in the future, you may be required to embalm the body to preserve it.

Burial Requirements

Maryland does not require a casket for burial, but some cemeteries require them so it’s important to check with them.

To avoid confusion, Maryland spells out who can make the burial arrangements for a deceased person. The state allows these individuals to make the decisions, in this order:

  1. The deceased person by way of pre-planned instructions (see below for specifics)
  2. The spouse or registered domestic partner of the deceased
  3. Adult children
  4. A surviving parent
  5. Surviving siblings
  6. A representative appointed by the deceased before death
  7. A legal guardian
  8. Anyone who will assume responsibility, including the representative of the estate

If more than one person exists in a group, one of them can make the decision as long as they confirm in writing that all other members of the group have been notified and do not object to the decision. For instance, if three siblings remain, and one makes final disposition arrangements, they are permitted to do that as long as they present written confirmation that the other two siblings have been informed and don’t object.

If you decide to leave written instructions for your funeral, you must follow specific guidelines in the state of Maryland. You must write down your wishes and then sign the document in front of a witness. The witness must also sign the document.

Cremation Services

The death certificate acts as the authorization for cremation in Maryland. But the state requires a 12-hour waiting period before cremation. While the state doesn’t require a funeral director to be involved in cremations, some crematories do. So, if you plan to have your body transported from home directly to a crematory, you will have to find one that is willing to work directly with the family.

Maryland allows for alkaline hydrolysis, also called flameless cremation, in addition to traditional cremation. This is a chemical process that dissolves the body into liquid and bone.

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Average Funeral Costs in Maryland

Final expenses in Maryland vary widely, from an average as low as $1,000 up to $12,445. The exact cost of a funeral will depend on what services and products you choose.


Service Costs by Type

Service Type Description Average Cost
Direct Cremation No viewing or ceremony $2,300
Immediate Burial No viewing or ceremony $4,100
Cremation Memorial Includes facility fees, viewing, & service $4,695
Full Service Includes facility fees, viewing, embalming $9,000



Baltimore Funeral Costs

Service Type Average Cost Price Range
Direct Cremation $2,337 $1,585 - $1,835
Immediate Burial $3,275 $2,200 - $5,800
Cremation Memorial $3,942 $2,600 - $4,250
Full Burial $9,010 $2,580 - $10,275



Columbia Funeral Costs

Service Type Average Cost Price Range
Direct Cremation $2,400 $1,000 - $2,650
Immediate Burial $5,800 $4,100 - $8,250
Cremation Memorial $6,250 $2,200 - $7,100
Full Burial $8,600 $5,495 - $12,500



Help With Funeral Costs in Maryland

Funerals are more expensive than ever before. And that’s why so many people are ensuring that their funerals are paid for before they pass. They want to know that their loved ones won’t have to deal with the financial stress of having to pay for an expensive funeral. There are several ways you can pay for your funeral in advance to ensure that those you leave behind can concentrate on celebrating your life in peace without the stress of an unexpected financial hardship

Here are some ways you can provide for your funeral costs now.


Term Insurance

There are several types of life insurance, and one of your options is a term life insurance policy. When you buy this type of life insurance, you are buying a short-term policy. This is in contrast to buying a life insurance policy that stays in place as long as you pay the premiums. When a term life insurance policy expires, you have to repurchase it and often requalify as well.

You will pay lower premiums with a term life insurance policy, but it has some drawbacks. For instance, once your term expires, you will have to requalify for another policy which may be difficult if your health has changed. And most likely, your premiums will go up because you will be older than when you took out the original term policy.

Final Expense Insurance

Final expense insurance is a type of whole life insurance specifically designed to cover end-of-life expenses like funeral costs and medical bills. With this type of policy, your coverage never ends as long as you continue to pay the premiums.

In most instances, you will not have to take a medical exam to qualify for this type of policy because coverage is issued based on your answers to health questions on the application. Most people are able to qualify for final expense insurance because of this.

Funeral Advantage™ is a final expense program offered by Lincoln Heritage that can be used anywhere in the United States. Funeral Advantage provides a cash payout for use at any facility for any style of service. As an added bonus, a burial insurance policy from Funeral Advantage includes a free membership to the Funeral Consumer Guardian Society®. The sole mission of this not-for-profit consumer advocacy organization is to help its members save money. Every member’s family gets a dedicated representative who will help them price-shop funeral homes in their area.

Pre-need Plans

You also have the option of arranging for and paying for your funeral well in advance of your death. It’s called a pre-need plan, and it is legal in Maryland. When buying one of these plans, state law dictates that only you, your spouse, a licensed mortician, or a funeral director can pre-arrange the funeral. The funds must be put in a trust fund or rely on an insurance payout for the costs.

Maryland doesn’t allow funeral homes to change the prices of a purchased pre-need plan in the future unless the prices come from third-party vendors like florists, musicians, or any service the funeral home contracts out.

When paying for your funeral in advance, you can either pay it upfront or make monthly payments until you’ve paid the balance in full.

Pre-need funeral plans do come with some risks. You could die in another state, or the funeral home could go out of business. If you agree to one of these plans, Maryland law requires the agreement to be in writing. You will receive an itemized statement outlining your plan and a pre-need agreement signed by you and the funeral home representative.

Government Assistance

If you are eligible for social security benefits, the federal government pays a one-time death benefit of $255. And if you are a veteran, the VA will pay up to $300 for funeral expenses.

The Department of Human Services in Maryland provides limited burial assistance for families who cannot afford to pay for a loved one’s funeral. The cash benefit is paid directly to the funeral director. But to qualify, the deceased must have already been a recipient of a state assistance program or meet the eligibility requirements.

Some of the assistance programs that make someone eligible for this program are:

  • Public Assistance to Adults (PAA)
  • Foster Care
  • Temporary Disability Assistance Program (TDAP)
  • Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Medical Assistance (MA)

The program does not cover vaults, burial plots, burial clothing, or grave digging.

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Average Overall Rates for Final Expense Insurance in Maryland

The rates for final expense insurance depend on your age, sex, health, and the amount of coverage you want. The younger you are, the less you will pay in premiums. And if you’re a female, you will pay less than males. In most instances, you will not have to take a medical exam to get final expense insurance. But not answering the health questions means your premium will be higher. Also, the higher the death benefit you request, the higher the premiums you will pay.

Here are some charts that show the types of premiums you can expect to pay.


Monthly Premium Rates for Men*

$5,000 Death Benefit
Age Determined 'In Good Health' by Insurer No Health Questions Asked
50 $16 $20
55 $19 $24
60 $23 $29
65 $29 $35
70 $38 $44
75 $51 $63
80 $65 $82

* Estimated rates do not reflect the rates of any particular life insurance company.

$10,000 Death Benefit
Age Determined 'In Good Health' by Insurer No Health Questions Asked
50 $30 $40
55 $35 $46
60 $43 $57
65 $56 $68
70 $74 $88
75 $100 $125
80 $126 $162

* Estimated rates do not reflect the rates of any particular life insurance company.


Monthly Premium Rates for Women*

$5,000 Death Benefit
Age Determined 'In Good Health' by Insurer No Health Questions Asked
50 $14 $15
55 $16
60 $18 $24
65 $22 $28
70 $28 $35
75 $38 $46
80 $48 $64

* Estimated rates do not reflect the rates of any particular life insurance company.

$10,000 Death Benefit
Age Determined 'In Good Health' by Insurer No Health Questions Asked
50 $25 $28
55 $28 $36
60 $33 $45
65 $41 $55
70 $53 $69
75 $72 $90
80 $93 $126

* Estimated rates do not reflect the rates of any particular life insurance company.


Leading Causes of Death in Maryland

In Maryland, the top ten leading causes of death in the state are:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Cancer
  3. Stroke
  4. Accidents
  5. Chronic lower respiratory disease
  6. Diabetes
  7. Alzheimer’s disease
  8. Flu/Pneumonia
  9. Septicemia
  10. Kidney disease


No Exam in Maryland

When looking for final expense insurance In Maryland, it’s usually possible to get a policy no matter your health status or age. Chances are, you will have to answer a few questions about your health, but you won’t have to undergo a medical exam.


Free Look Period

Most states require insurance companies to offer buyers a free look period. During this time, people who buy life insurance can look over the policy, and if they change their mind, they can cancel the transaction and get a full refund. The state of Maryland gives consumers a ten-day free look period.


How to Get Burial Insurance

The best and most reliable insurance companies are those that have been in business for years and built up a reputation of trust among consumers. That’s the number one thing you should look for when buying final expense insurance. Doing so will give you the peace of mind that your planning will benefit your loved ones after you pass.

But finding the right insurer isn’t enough. You should also make sure that the policy you choose will cover your final expenses and leave enough for your beneficiaries. Compare premiums to ensure that you get the right policy that fits your budget.

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