Mass. General Laws c.115 § 8

Payment and reimbursement of burial expenses; certificate

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Section 8

If a deceased person's estate has insufficient resources to pay for the cost of the funeral and burial of a deceased person covered by this chapter, the burial agent under section 7 shall expend not more than $4,000 for the funeral and burial; provided, however, that the cost of the funeral and burial shall be not more than $5,000. Any resources of such person shall be deducted from the maximum cost of the funeral and burial allowance hereunder and the difference, subject to the limitation set forth in this paragraph, shall be paid by the burial agent. No city or town shall be reimbursed under this section for any amount so expended for a single burial if the total expense of such burial, exclusive of the purchase price of the grave, the cost of the grave opening and the cost of a cement vault liner if one is required by the cemetery regulations, by whomsoever incurred, exceeded $500 for a child under the age of seven or $900 for any other person. The burial shall not be made in a cemetery or burial ground used exclusively for the burial of persons under the provisions of chapter 117 or in any part of a cemetery or burial ground so used. Relatives of the deceased who are unable to bear the expense of burial may be allowed to conduct the funeral. The full amount so expended, the name of the deceased and, if the deceased was a veteran, the regiment, company, station, organization or vessel in which such veteran served, the date of death, place of interment and, if the deceased was a spouse or widow or widower, the name of such veteran's spouse and date of marriage and, if the deceased was a dependent child, the name of the veteran and such other details as the secretary may require, shall be certified on oath to said secretary in such manner as said secretary may approve, by the burial agent and the treasurer of the city or town expending the amount, within three months after the burial. The secretary shall endorse upon the certificate the allowance of such amounts as have been paid and reported according to the foregoing provisions and shall transmit the certificate to the comptroller. Seventy-five per cent of the amounts so paid and allowed for burial expenses of veterans or dependents by the cities and towns wherein they reside shall be paid by the commonwealth to the several cities and towns on or before November 10 in the year after the expenditures have been made. Notwithstanding the requirements as to residence as set forth in section 5, the secretary may authorize the burial agent of a city or town to arrange for the proper interment of the body of an indigent veteran who dies within the commonwealth. The definitions contained in section 1 of chapter 114 shall be applicable to this section and section 9.

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Last updated: August 4, 2022

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