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Final Expense & Burial Insurance in Massachusetts

Massachusetts state flagFuneral expenses are going up all around the country, and in Massachusetts a funeral can cost more than $10,000 depending on the style of service, the means of transportation, memorial expenses, and where you hold the service. And those left behind may struggle to pay your final expenses unless you’ve planned for them.

More and more people are planning their funerals in advance, so their loved ones aren’t financially burdened while covering the costs. One way to help alleviate this stress is to purchase final expense insurance, also known as burial insurance. Burial insurance can be used for your funeral and any other debt you leave behind. This includes medical bills, final utility expenses, car payments, and other outstanding debt.

Each state has specific laws and regulations that determine how to handle final arrangements. Let’s take a look at how Massachusetts regulates these issues.

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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 Massachusetts

Every state has different laws and requirements when dealing with death and the disposition of bodies. Massachusetts has specific statutes that you will have to follow when a loved one dies in the state.


Death Certificates

To facilitate the death certificate process in Massachusetts, you must be a state registered funeral director; a funeral director or embalmer licensed by another state that is in a reciprocal agreement with Massachusetts; or a family member, friend, or acquaintance of the deceased who doesn’t accept compensation for the act.

When someone dies, Massachusetts law prohibits transporting them without a document from the certifying nurse practitioner or doctor. Once they complete the form, they will fax the document to the state if the certifier uses the manual system. If they use the online Electronic Death Registration System, they will submit it electronically.

Finally, the funeral director or designated family member will work with the town or city clerk in the place of death to complete a death certificate. The city or town clerk must receive the certificate within five days of the death.

Embalming and Refrigeration

Massachusetts does not require embalming or refrigeration under any circumstances. Nor does the state provide a time frame for when the body must be buried or cremated. If the final arrangements will take place several days from the date of death, embalming may be required to preserve the body.

Burial Requirements

Massachusetts does not require a casket or burial vault in a grave, but you should check with the cemetery because many of them do.

Massachusetts requires a burial permit be obtained as soon as possible after the death certificate is issued, preferably within 36 hours. The list of people who can apply for a death certificate can also apply for the burial permit. The town clerk or Board of Health issues the permit.

If there are no preplanned arrangements, the following people can make funeral arrangement decisions in this order:

  • The spouse of the deceased
  • Surviving adult children
  • The surviving parents
  • Surviving brothers or sisters
  • Someone who acted as a guardian at the time of death
  • Anyone else who is authorized by law

Cremation Services

Unless someone died of a communicable disease, Massachusetts allows cremation only after a 48-hour waiting period. During that time, the medical examiner must examine the body and produce a document stating that no further examination or judicial inquiry is necessary.


Average Funeral Costs in Massachusetts

Final expenses in Massachusetts vary widely, from an average as low as $1,395 all the way up to $10,000. The exact cost of a funeral will depend on what services and products you choose. Keep in mind that the costs below may not include common funeral items like transportation, casket costs, flowers, obituary notices, etc.


Service Costs by Type

Service Type Description Average Cost
Direct Cremation No viewing or ceremony $1,395
Immediate Burial No viewing or ceremony $2,700
Cremation Memorial Includes facility fees, viewing, & service $3,745
Full Service Includes facility fees, embalming, viewing, hearse, & graveside service $5,980


Boston Funeral Costs

Service Type Average Cost Price Range
Direct Cremation $2,195 $1,395 - $3,335
Direct Burial $4,195 $3,895-$4,730
Cremation Memorial $3,745 $2,700 - $5,200
Full Funeral $6,150 $5,430 - $6,880


Worchester Funeral Costs

Service Type Average Cost Price Range
Direct Cremation $2,195 $1,400-$2,800
Immediate Burial $2,550 $1,995 - $3,000
Cremation Memorial $6,800 $3,000 - $9,000
Full Funeral $6,980 $3,500 - $10,000

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Help With Funeral Costs in Massachusetts

Funerals have become much more expensive than in years past. That’s why so many people are taking steps to spare their loved ones from the expense. Pre-planning your funeral will help mitigate the costs and make it easier for those you leave behind. When everything is taken care of, they can concentrate on celebrating your life instead of worrying about the details and finances.

Here are some things you can do to pay for your funeral in advance.


Term Insurance

Term life insurance is the least expensive option when it comes to life insurance, but before you take out a policy, you should understand how these insurance policies work. The policies are based on terms, and once that term runs out, you will no longer have insurance. For example, if you purchase a 10-year term life insurance policy, you will no longer be covered at ten years and one day.

When your policy expires, you will have to qualify for and purchase a new one. Depending on your age and health, this may be difficult to do.

Final Expense Insurance

When you purchase a final expense insurance policy, it will never expire as long as you make the payments. That’s because it’s a whole life insurance policy. You will pay more in monthly premiums but will gain peace of mind that your policy will never expire. In most instances, you will not have to take a medical exam to qualify. A lot of final expense companies can issue coverage based on answers to health questions on the application.

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 advocate 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

If you want to arrange for and pay for your funeral yourself, a pre-need plan might be a solution. With these plans, you can work with a funeral home to design your funeral down to the last detail—and then pay for it in advance.

Massachusetts only allows licensed funeral directors to sell you a pre-need contract. The funeral home has the option to fund them with a trust or an insurance policy.

But this convenient option does come with some risks. For instance, the funeral home could go out of business, or you might die in another city or state. If you do, the funeral home may not honor your agreement.

Government Assistance

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

Massachusetts also offers help to the relatives of people who die without financial means. The State will pay $1,100 to the funeral home as long as the total burial or cremation costs don’t exceed $3,500. Contact the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance for specific details. The family will be responsible for the remaining balance.


Average Overall Rates for Final Expense Insurance in Massachusetts

The cost of your final expense policy depends on your age, sex, health, and the amount of coverage. The younger you are, the less you will pay. Females also enjoy lower premiums. In most cases, you will not have to undergo a medical exam to get final expense insurance. But if you decide not to answer the health questions, you will pay a higher premium.

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 $18
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 Massachusetts

According to the Massachusetts government, the top ten leading causes of death in the state are as follows:

  1. Cancer
  2. Heart disease
  3. Unintentional injuries
  4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
  5. Stroke
  6. Alzheimer’s disease
  7. Pneumonia/influenza
  8. Nephritis
  9. Diabetes
  10. Ill-defined conditions


No Exam in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, you can probably get final expense insurance regardless of your health. In most instances, you will only have to answer a few questions online about your health. That means you can be approved for a policy with no medical exam, regardless of your age.


Free Look Period

A free look period is an established period of time where you can change your mind after buying a life insurance policy. If you change your mind, the insurance company must refund any premiums you paid. In Massachusetts, you have a 10-day free look period.


How to Get Burial Insurance

When looking for burial insurance in Massachusetts, your goal should be to find a company that you can trust. In your search, narrow down your options to companies that have been providing final expense insurance for years and have earned a numerous positive reviews.

Once you find the right insurer, your next step is to decide how much coverage you want. Do you want to cover only your funeral, or do you want to include extra money to cover other final expenses? Or maybe you want the payout to include some cash for your loved ones. Keep in mind that the higher the payout, the more your monthly premiums will be.

Why not contact Lincoln Heritage right now to get your free, no-obligation quote for final expense insurance?

Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company Locations in Massachusetts

Mark Coleman Group
44 Bearfoot Rd Ste 200
Northborough, Ma 01532

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