What happens when you die broke, and nobody is there, or wants to pay to bury you?


I’m sure most reading this have heard the term “no-frills”. Well that’s surely the case here in a nutshell, with regards to the title of this blog. You get a plain pine box, and a weatherproof laminated grave marker, about 5″x7″ in size. Dont let it bother you. For you will dead and wont care anyway. I say pay your bills in life (if ya can) and let whoever worry about it. And if you dont have a special someone or family/kin. Then this is what’s in store for you after you stop breathing and paying them never-ending bills.

I personally plan on donating my body to science and or medicine. I never hesitated to check the organ donor box on the DMV form also. If my eyes or heart can help a child see again or live to become something great one day. Count me in! I would also be a med school cadaver. If my death can help a potential doctor in life, learn to save lives. That is a comforting to me. I also would be a “Body Farm” specimen. That is where they take your body and put it in different circumstances outside to simulate homicides, to help train forensic detectives. On the farm the call it. I try to live by a quote from a man I admire the most in this world for his actions. Even know it is tough at times to help others, while trying to survive yourself in this world today. Oskar Schindler  said > “if you can save just one life, you can save the world”  You never know if the person or people you help will go on in life to do great things. Generations are alive today because of what he did during his time on this planet.

Death does not come cheap, and someone has to shoulder the financial burden for those who even afford that no-frills funeral and burial. In instances where family or certain government programs will not cover the cost, county taxpayer dollars are used. Procedures vary depending on what state you died in. And the locations for burial also depends on the county you resided in. (Note: This week I plan to go to where it is for Atlantic County NJ, to take some pics and do some further research for this read)
I wanna see where they put you in Atlantic County, NJ.

Here’s some great reading by a reporter from the Press of Atlantic City (my local newspaper) Erik Ortiz: EOrtiz@pressofac.com

*Indigent funerals and burials are on the rise in New Jersey. The State doesnt compile/keep track of stats. that is left to the individual counties. I can only imagine they are on the rise in other states as well, due to current economic recession.

Cumberland County NJ, for instance, handled 13 indigent burials in 2009, up from nine in 2008. The county budgeted $6,000 for the burials, but because the number of deceased rose unexpectedly, it exceeded its operating budget by almost $1,000.

The county decided to increase its budget to $8,000 for 2010, said Barbara Fowler, deputy county clerk. Two indigent burials have taken place so far this year. Meanwhile, county officials have wrestled with anticipated financial shortfalls of more than $4 million.  Elsewhere in southern New Jersey, Ocean County has seen double the number of indigent cases this year from last year.

“It’s increasingly difficult to get (funeral homes) to even do the burials because of the cost to them,” Fowler said.

Savings could be found if New Jersey’s counties used an increasingly popular method of disposition: Cremation. But counties in New Jersey won’t order a cremation as an alternative to county-funded burials unless a next of kin — if one is even located — signs off. Cremations for indigents are not expressly allowed nor prohibited under state law, but if a funeral home does one, directors say they want a family member’s consent.

While county governments are dealing with drastic budget cuts, they are also finding the number of indigent burials rising. New Jersey does not compile the total number of indigent cases in the state, leaving each county to handle such deaths.

Cumberland County, for instance, handled 13 indigent burials in 2009, up from nine in 2008. The county budgeted $6,000 for the burials, but because the number of deceased rose unexpectedly, it exceeded its operating budget by almost $1,000.

The county decided to increase its budget to $8,000 for 2010, said Barbara Fowler, deputy county clerk. Two indigent burials have taken place so far this year. Meanwhile, county officials have wrestled with anticipated financial shortfalls of more than $4 million.  Elsewhere in southern New Jersey, Ocean County has seen double the number of indigent cases this year from last year.

“It’s increasingly difficult to get (funeral homes) to even do the burials because of the cost to them,” Fowler said.

Other states and counties struggling to balance budgets during this economic downturn have made cremations acceptable.

Last year, Minnesota state statutes were revised to allow for counties to have the option to cremate in cases where the deceased had no traceable family nor specific wishes or religious beliefs. The switch to allow for cremations there can reportedly save up to $2 million per year.

New Jersey state law only mentions “burial” of indigents, not cremations — but it is something for the state to consider, said Paul Padgett Jr., who manages Padgett Funeral Home locations in Upper Deerfield and Lawrence townships.

“If it’s written into state law, it’d be a lot clearer,” Padgett said.

A direct burial without a visitation and viewing might cost about $3,000, but a cremation, including cemetery costs, may run as much as $1,500, area funeral home directors say.

John Radzieta, of the Radzieta Funeral Home in Cape May Court House, Middle Township, said funeral homes are taking a loss when they do an indigent burial since counties subsidize only a fraction of the cost. But none will automatically cremate in case the deceased had “a strong feeling against it,” he said.

“Say we did a cremation, but in five, 10 years from now, that person has a next of kin that comes back and there’s no more body,” Radzieta added.

How much each county in New Jersey will pay a funeral home for an indigent burial ranges from about $500 to $2,000. In southern New Jersey:

•Cumberland County pays $550 for a burial versus $350 for a cremation. Indigent minors are buried at $350.
•Cape May County pays $2,200 for a burial versus $1,000 for a cremation. It did four burials in 2008, two cremations in 2009 because next of kin consented and one burial so far this year. The county budgets $9,000 each year.
•Ocean County pays $950 for burials and does not do cremations. Its budget this year is $9,500 and has coordinated eight indigent burials so far — double the number from 2009, according to the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office. In 2008, it paid for 12. That year, it received 29 applications for indigent cases, but many were rejected because other funding sources were found.
•Atlantic County paid $415 for one cremation in 2007. It is unclear how many indigent burials have been performed with county funds since.  The Atlantic County Office of the Adjuster, which would typically handle the burials, said no indigent cases have been filed with the office since 2007. The county Department of Family and Community Development handles burials of county residents on Medicaid and may also have processed some indigent burials in recent years, said Valgene King, administrative supervisor for Medicaid.
The number of Medicaid burial cases in Atlantic County increased from 330 in 2007 to 396 in 2009. King could not say how many of those may have been indigent burials. Medicaid pays funeral homes $2,246 to cover a burial and another $524 to cemeteries.

In indigent deaths, each county can make an effort to locate family members or personal estates. Typically, a county will search for a spouse or a parent if the deceased was a minor child. If no other means of funding are located, the county in which the deceased was a resident must step in, New Jersey law requires.

The person is often a senior with no children, or might have been homeless or found as an unclaimed body on the beach, said Sherry Rekuc, an assistant in the Cape May County adjuster’s office.

Meanwhile, cremations are gaining popularity in New Jersey. The state had nearly 32 percent of deaths cremated in 2008, up from 25 percent in 2002, according to the Cremation Association of North America.

Nevada, Hawaii and Oregon still handle the most cremations in the nation, each close to 70 percent of deaths in 2008.

Some counties have used cremations to ease the problem of dwindling space at cemeteries. But one of the few cemeteries to allow for indigent burials in the region — Seaside Cemetery in the Palermo section of Upper Township, Cape May County — is not short on land. At the current rate, there is enough space in the entire cemetery to bury bodies — indigent or otherwise — for another 50 to 75 years, said general manager Jay Newman.

Between 1,000 to 1,500 indigent people are already buried in a 4-acre section of the cemetery with mostly unmarked graves. While each indigent burial brings in $800 less than a traditional burial, Newman is willing to sacrifice the profit.

“My belief is that everyone deserves a decent burial,” Newman said. “Is it a good business decision? For me, it’s a moral decision.”

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About Steven L. Goff

I'm a 38 yr old, modern day Renaissance Man, Polymath, in ever sense of the words. Self educated genius no doubt. "The Police often questioned me, just because they found me interesting" (The Most Interesting Man in the World...drink Dos Equis beer...lol) I come from the last generation who knows what it was like before the computer age per se. The Rotary style phone to the iPhone I like to say. Don't be shocked by this below.......because it's only HALF of it! All true I assure you. Days of telling lies to myself and others are done. Masters Degree from the School of Hard Knocks. Double Doctorate PhD from Google University (like most will have in future). Jack of all trades. Jack Russel loving dog owner of 8yrs. Master of them all. 38 yr old heterosexual. Master electrician and stock trader now, wanna be fund manager, a never be nothing, political and economics junkie, former master safe cracker thief, liar, professional slot machine cheat, before tech advancement made me obsolete! A bad father, bad brother, bad son, and much more. Have been baker, cook, barber, teacher, student, ultra submissive lovers master, semi pro poker player. I'm a novice mathematician, mechanical genius ALL most would say. Sun worshiper, surfer, convicted felon at age 18. Five year prison stay from 18 until 24yrs old. Hence school of Hard Knocks Degrees. Amateur magician, Rubik's Cube solver, social algorithms developer, exponential growth being humanity's most powerful force. My mom was a closet drinker for much of my youth and worked night and slept all day. I am Drake Equation believer, a Luddite I think, student of great societal cyclicality in humanity. I've been shot, I've been stabbed, I've been loved more than life to some, and abandon by the same. Raised Catholic, now of the agnostic mindset. Frankly I dont care if God Almighty exist, for we have bigger problems as a species to solve. I'm speed reader semi cursed with photographic memory, say cursed for some memories are not good. Great pool player, better marksman, Have hunted and killed the beast. A believer information to the masses is more powerful than oil and gold put together. Occam's Razor believer, Rube Goldberg simplifier, Huge student of propaganda and all it's techniques, I wanna go to outer space someday before I die. I dont fear death. I fear not Livin'
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