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Final Expense & Burial Insurance in Missouri

Missouri state flagFor each year that passes, funeral expenses get more expensive. In fact, you can pay upwards of $10,000 for a funeral today. Missouri prices can be slightly less, depending on the style of service you choose, the means of transportation you use, where you decide to hold the funeral, and which memorial expenses you include. But even funerals in Missouri can reach that amount, and these high prices can cause your loved ones to struggle if they’re left to pay your funeral costs.

That’s why so many people are planning their funerals in advance. They don’t want their loved ones to experience financial stress because of the cost of their final arrangements. They’re looking for ways to pay for their funeral to help alleviate the burden.

And some options allow you to leave enough money to pay for your funeral as well as other final expenses such as a car payment balance, utility bills, and medical expenses. One option is final expense insurance. Depending on the payout amount you choose, the policy could pay for some or all of these things.

You’ll experience a few differences when buying final expense insurance in Missouri compared to other states. We’ll guide you through the process and show you how Funeral Advantage can help make it easier for your loved ones after you’re gone.

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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 Missouri

Each state has different laws and requirements that govern what happens when someone dies and Missouri is no exception. The state has specific statutes that you will have to follow when someone dies.


Death Certificates

Missouri has a two-step process for certifying a death, requiring first a medical certification and then a death certificate.

The state allows coroners, medical examiners, physicians, physician assistants, assistant physicians, and advanced practice registered nurses to issue medical certifications. The certifier must complete the document within 72 hours of the death. To complete the certification, they use an electronic program called the Missouri Vital Records Electronic system (MoEVR) to file the certificates. The system also allows any of the above-named people to assign the task of entering the medical certification into the electronic system to someone else, such as a funeral director or someone else who has been approved as a data entry person.

Once the death is medically certified, the funeral director completes the death certificate. They do this with help from the deceased’s family and the physician. In cases where a funeral director is not involved, the doctor (or other medical professional who recorded the medical certification) typically completes the death certificate. This step can only happen after the original certifier electronically signs the certification.

If you work with a funeral director, they can request copies of the death certificate for you, or your family can request one.

Embalming and Refrigeration

Missouri has some regulations when it comes to embalming and refrigeration. Once a person is deceased for 24 hours, the state requires that the body is refrigerated or embalmed. This is not Missouri law, but rather a regulation that all Missouri licensed funeral homes must abide by. If you plan for a home funeral, this regulation does not apply.

However, there are some circumstances in which Missouri requires a deceased person to be embalmed. They are:

  • If someone dies of an infectious disease and won’t be buried or cremated within 24 hours.
  • If a person dies of a contagious disease and is shipped by common carrier. This regulation isn’t true if the shipper wraps the body in a sheet saturated with disinfectant and places it in a sealed casket.
  • If the deceased person is shipped by common carrier but won’t reach the destination for 24 hours or more. This regulation becomes null if that person travels in a sealed casket.

Burial Requirements

In Missouri, a person does not have to be placed in a casket when buried. But it’s important that you check with the cemetery because they all have different rules.

Like most other states, Missouri specifies who can make the burial arrangements for a deceased person. The state allows these individuals to make the decisions, in this order:

  • Your appointed attorney to whom you have granted a durable power of attorney
  • Your surviving spouse
  • Any of your surviving children
  • Any surviving parent
  • Surviving siblings
  • The next of kin
  • A person who is willing to assume financial responsibility
  • The county coroner or medical examiner

If a disagreement arises, the funeral director is allowed to use the instructions of any in the deciding party. For instance, if siblings can’t come to a decision, the funeral director can choose which sibling’s instructions to carry out.

Cremation Services

Missouri allows cremation as long as the funeral director receives two signed documents. The first is a cremation authorization signed by the spouse, a majority of the deceased’s children, a parent, or a legal guardian. The second document is the death certificate, signed by the doctor and filed with the County Health Department. Alternatively, cremation can occur if the medical examiner or coroner releases the deceased for cremation.

In addition to traditional cremation, Missouri allows alkaline hydrolysis. This chemical process dissolves the body into liquid and bone and is greener than traditional cremation because no matter enters the air. It is also called flameless cremation.


Average Funeral Costs in Missouri

Final expenses in Missouri 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 $1,743
Immediate Burial No viewing or ceremony $1,000
Cremation Memorial Facility fees, viewing, & service $3,000
Full Service Facility fees, viewing, embalming $7,775


St. Louis Funeral Costs

Service Type Average Cost Price Range
Direct Cremation $1,495 $1,000-$1,750
Direct Burial $3,275 $1,995-$2,850
Cremation Memorial $2,350 $1,995 - $2,850
Full Funeral $6,150 $2,795 - $7,295


Kansas City Funeral Costs

Service Type Average Cost Price Range
Direct Cremation $1,095 $795 - $1,495
Direct Burial $3,195 $1,995 - $4,275
Cremation Memorial $2,665 $2,200 - $5,150
Full Funeral $5,275 $4,495 - $8,980

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Help With Funeral Costs in Missouri

Because funerals cost more than they used to, many people are taking the necessary steps to ensure their funerals are paid for before they pass. This eliminates the chance that loved ones have to deal with the financial stress of having to pay for an expensive funeral. There are several ways you can handle your arrangements in advance, allowing your loved ones to celebrate your life in peace without the stress of an unexpected financial hardship.

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


Term Insurance

When you buy term life insurance, you are doing so for a predetermined period of time. In other words, instead of buying life insurance one time and then forgetting about it, you buy it for a single term with an expiration date. When the policy expires, you will need to renew it – at a higher premium – and potentially be required to re-qualify which can be difficult.

Buying term life insurance allows you to pay lower monthly premiums, but at a cost. By the time the term ends, you will be older and may not have the same health status. And both of those things will require you to pay higher premiums on the next policy. Most term insurance policies don’t carry cash value either, which means you can’t withdraw a portion of the premiums you’ve paid into the policy in the form of a policy loan.

Final Expense Insurance

Final expense insurance is a type of whole life policy that is designed specifically to pay your final expenses, including your funeral. In most instances, you will not have to take a medical exam to qualify for this type of policy. Coverage is issued 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 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 with preneed insurance. When buying one of these plans, you and the funeral director of your choice will plan your funeral and work out the payment arrangements. You can either pay upfront or make monthly payments until you’ve paid the balance in full.

But you should know that pre-need funeral plans come with some risks. For instance, you might die in another state, or the funeral home could go out of business. If you agree to one of these plans, make sure everything is in writing, and ask about price guarantees and what happens if the funeral home closes.

Government Assistance

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

The state of Missouri does not offer funeral assistance unless the deceased is indigent and without any relatives or financial supporters. That program is called the Indigent Burial and Funeral Fund, and it pays $400 to the county or city that buries an indigent person.


Average Overall Rates for Final Expense Insurance in Missouri

When looking at premiums for final expense insurance, yours will depend on your age, sex, health, and the amount of coverage. Younger applicants pay less. Additionally, female applicants have lower premiums than men. In most cases, you will not have to take a medical exam to get final expense insurance. But keep in mind that if you decide not to answer the health questions, you will pay a higher premium. Also, the higher the death benefit you have, the higher 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 $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 Missouri

In Missouri, the top ten leading causes of death in the state are as follows:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Cancer
  3. Lung disease
  4. Accidents
  5. Stroke
  6. Alzheimer’s disease
  7. Diabetes
  8. Nephritis/Kidney
  9. Influenza/Pneumonia
  10. Suicide


No Exam in Missouri

When looking for final expense insurance In Missouri, you can probably get it no matter what health status you have. You will probably have to answer a few questions about your health. In other words, with only a few questions, it’s possible to get final expense insurance no matter your age or health.


Free Look Period

Most states require insurance companies to offer buyers a free look period. That’s a period where consumers can change their mind about buying an insurance policy and get a full refund. But Missouri law doesn’t establish a free look period.

Keep in mind, though, most insurance companies willingly provide free look periods for Missouri residents. But you’ll need to pay attention to the time period because each insurer will be different.


How to Get Burial Insurance

In your quest to find final expense insurance, you should ensure you only work with a company that has years of experience and a great reputation among consumers.

And when you find the insurer you want to work with, make sure to explore all of your options when selecting the amount of the death benefit. You can choose an amount that will only pay for your funeral, or you can increase the amount so those you leave behind can pay for your other final expenses as well. Or you may choose an amount that will leave extra cash to your beneficiaries. Remember, the higher the payout, the more your monthly premiums will be.

Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company Locations in Missouri

Memorial Gardens Insurance Services
3016 Locust St.
Suite 105
St. Louis MO 63103
(888) 647-2978

The Callison Group
2977 Highway K # 227
O Fallon, Mo 63368
(314) 799-0800

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