funeral or a cremation is no easy task, especially if it is your first
experience of funeral planning. US Funerals Online has put together
this brief guide on how to arrange a funeral or cremation in Minnesota
to help you through some of the key decisions you will need to make.
We cover how Minnesota state law affects your rights as a consumer in the
purchasing of funeral services and products, with some useful insights
on how you can save money arranging a funeral in Minnesota. Whether
you are faced with the immediate need to make funeral arrangements, or
whether you are researching to preplan, hopefully you will find this guide
a good starting point.
How do you choose which
funeral home or cremation provider is right for your needs?
This is one of the first things
you need to do – choose a funeral home or cremation provider, unless you
are opting to conduct a home funeral. We often end up making a decision
in haste because when a death occurs we feel under pressure to act.
Generally people will choose a funeral home based upon recommendations
from family, friends or even the church, hospital or hospice. You
need to ensure whoever has suggested a funeral home to you, is not biased
and is giving you a genuine recommendation. If you have no
recommendations, or for whatever reason, need to find a funeral provider
from scratch. It can help to decide upon what specific kind of funeral
services you are looking for, as this can help to narrow down your selection.
Do you require traditional services, a burial or cremation, or are you
seeking something more alternative such as a green burial? All funeral
establishments in Minnesota must be licensed to operate, and comply with
the regulations for final disposition as according to Minnesota Statutes
How do I find a funeral
home or cremation provider in Minnesota?
You are already at the right
place to locate your nearest funeral or cremation provider. US Funerals
Online is not only a resource guide to all things funeral-related, it is
a completely free online directory of ALL funeral homes and cremation providers
in Minnesota. There are around 645 funeral homes and cremation providers
in Minnesota. Our directory is organized by city in zip code order,
making it easy for you to locate and view all the funeral companies near
Do you want a burial or
This is a key aspect of arranging
a funeral – deciding whether the deceased is to be buried or cremated.
This IS a personal choice, but burial costs these days, can steer people
to consider cremation as a less costly funeral option. The cremation
rate in Minnesota is just over 41%, so it is much the same as the national
rate in the U.S. Current funeral trends indicate that this is going
to increase over the coming years. A funeral where cremation is selected
can be conducted just the same as a traditional burial service, only the
deceased is cremated after the service as opposed to buried. This
eliminates the need for many of the expensive funeral items like a casket,
burial vault, cemetery plot and monument. A casket is not required
by law for a cremation in Minnesota, a rigid alternative container can
be used for the purpose of cremation. Many funeral homes can provide a
rental casket for use during a cremation service if required. If
a burial is conducted a disposition permit must be issued, and if a cremation
is conducted a cremation permit must be issued.
They can be reached on (651) 383-3327, ask for Lisa or Verlin. This funeral home also offers traditional
funerals for $2700.00 including a casket.
What is the cost of a
funeral or cremation in Minnesota?
This is one of the questions
that many people get online to try and find out. The simple answer
is that funeral prices do vary quite significantly between funeral homes
and even in the same area. The National Association of Funeral Directors
(NFDA) put the average cost of a funeral at $7,300 (2012), yet you can
arrange a funeral for anything from $600 to $16,000.
A direct cremation is available
for $750 in the Twin Cities from Crescent Tide Funeral and Cremation Services.
Is embalming required
No, it is not required by law
in Minnesota. However, if a viewing, visitation or open-casket service
is requested, or the funeral will not take place for over 72 hours, embalming
may be suggested by your funeral director. Do note though, that Minnesota
law only states that embalming OR refrigeration is required if a body is
stored after 72 hours, and refrigeration can extend this period to 6 days.
If there are any reasons of public health safety the Commissioner of Health
may dictate that embalming is required. Embalming sanitizes the body
for the purposes of health and hygiene, but it does not prevent the natural
decomposition process from taking place. If you do not wish to have
your loved one embalmed, there is no reason to if you are to hold the funeral
or cremation within 6 days and your funeral home has refrigerated storage.
cheaper caskets to the market-place,
and you can now purchase a standard casket for $995, generally a saving
of around $2,000. Most casket sellers can arrange a next-day delivery
to funeral homes in Minnesota.
What are my options for
purchasing a casket or alternative container?
The Federal Trade Commission’s
‘Funeral Rule’ means that you have the right to purchase a casket from
a third-party retailer. You may still wish to select from your funeral
home, who must provide you with a Casket Price List (CPL) before showing
you any selections. Up until the introduction of the funeral rule,
only funeral homes sold caskets and with quite a significant mark-up.
Now you have the choice to purchase a casket in Minnesota from a high street
or online casket retailer. Your funeral home must accept your casket
and cannot add a surcharge for handling it. This has brought a flood
What are burial and cemetery
plot requirements in Minnesota?
There is no law that states
that a burial vault must be purchased. However, most cemeteries have regulations
that stipulate that some kind of hard retainer protect the gravesite to
prevent subsidence and maintain the integrity of the ground. It is
more important where heavy machinery is used for maintenance and mowing.
You should carefully check the regulations at the cemetery where you have
a plot or are considering a plot. There are also regulations about
what type of monument you can erect and the correct period of time to elapse,
allowing the gravesite to settle, before erecting your monument.
What about a Veteran’s
funeral in Minnesota?
There are certain benefits for
Veterans (check out our section on Military Funerals for more information),
and there is currently space for casketed and cremated remains at the two
VA cemeteries in Minneapolis and Little Falls. In the state-run cemetery
spouses and dependents plots are charged at between $250 and $750.
Can I preplan a funeral
or cremation? How does Minnesota state law govern preneed plans?
Yes you can preplan a funeral
or cremation in Minnesota. Preplan arrangements are often referred
to as “preneed contracts”. In Minnesota only a licensed funeral director
or mortician call sell preneed contracts, and the monies are held in a
trust fund. Planning ahead is an excellent way to remove the stress
of decision-making, and the financial burden, from surviving family.
Putting funds into a revocable trust fund can secure this ‘asset’ should
you later need assessment for Medicaid eligibility, whereby up to $6,000
can be allowed in a funeral plan. With a growing aging population,
many senior care and nursing homes are now insisting on evidence of a funeral
plan before admitting new clients.
Another way of preplanning
is to set up a Totten Trust or a payable-on-death (POD) account.
The beneficiary named and authorized to withdraw upon the death of the
account holder can withdraw funds paid into this account. This kind
of account is exempt from probate. You can document your funeral
wishes, and even identify a funeral home you wish to handle the services.
The important considerations with this kind of preplanning are to ensure
that your family is aware of your plan and where it is kept, and to revisit
and revise it every few years to ensure your funds still meet your requirements.
a scattering site. Likewise
you can scatter and disperse ashes over inland water or Lake Superior,
so long as only biodegradable containers/tributes are used.
What are the laws for
scattering ashes in Minnesota?
If you wish to scatter ashes
you can do so on private land with the consent of the landowner.
You can also scatter on public land so long as you observe some due diligence.
Human cremated remains are basically organic elements and pose no risk
to the environment. If you wish to scatter in a public place such
as a State Park you should check with the park ordnance. If your
scattering does not interfere with any park activities, there should be
no issue. You do need to consider that any floral tribute should
be entirely biodegradable and you will find that state parks will not allow
any marker for
What help is available
with funeral expenses in Minnesota?
It can be extremely distressing
to have to deal with a death when you have little, if no, money to pay
for the funeral. There is limited assistance available. Veterans
are entitled to a free cemetery plot and grave marker and you should check
with your local VA administration. There is a lump-sum death benefit
$255 payment from Social Security if you have qualified, and Medical Assistance
(MA) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will usually discount a certain
amount prepaid into a funeral plan. So it can be a very good idea
to arrange a funeral plan with a local firm. Each county will have
some limited funds to assist with indigent funerals, but these do vary
and you most likely need to be below the poverty line to qualify.
Both Hennepin and Benton County have indigent burial assistance programs.
You can also contact local charity and Church associations to see what
support is available. Remember that DFS Memorials will guide you
to your nearest low cost funeral and cremation provider.
Are whole body donations
permitted in Minnesota?
Yes, you may choose to donate
your body to science and there are two options for donation in Minnesota:
The University of Minnesota
Anatomy Bequest Program www.bequest.umn.edu
The Rochester Mayo Clinic
What do you do if your
loved one dies away from Minnesota?
If your loved one dies away
from Minnesota, you will need the services of a mortuary
shipping company to transport the body home. The deceased can
be transported by land or air, depending on location, and if using public
transportation certain regulations apply and documentation must be completed.
It can work out a significant additional expense to the funeral costs,
so be sure to thoroughly investigate your options. You will need
the services of a funeral professional at the place of death, and one in
Minnesota. To learn more visit our funeral shipping page.
$13.00, which additional copies
charged at $6.00.
Where do I get a copy
of a death certificate from in Minnesota?
Minnesota law requires that
a death certificate be filed within 5 days of the death, or prior to the
burial or cremation. Your funeral director will ordinarily complete
this on your behalf. A certified copy of a death certificate can
be obtained from the local county registrar or via the Minnesota Department
of Health at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/chs/osr/deathapp.pdf. The
first copy of a certified death certificate costs
What should you do if
you have a complaint about funeral services or products you have purchased?
You have consumer rights when
purchasing funeral services and merchandise just as with any other purchases,
and if you have a complaint or grievance that you cannot resolve, you can
Minnesota Funeral Directors
Professional Practices Committee,
7046 East Fish Lake Rd, Maple Grove, MN 55311.
This professional association
responds to all inquiries about member firms.
You may also contact the
Mortuary Science Unit, Minnesota Dept. of Health, at 717 Delaware Street
SE, Minneapolis, MN 55440.
This Department licenses
all funeral directors in the state and issues permits for funeral establishments.
The regulatory agency that handles consumer complaints is the Attorney
General's Office, Consumer Complaints, 445 Minnesota St., Suite 1400, St.
Paul, MN 55101
Alternatively, you may wish
to consult with:
The Funeral Consumers Alliance
of Minnesota (formerly Minnesota Funeral & Memorial Society) is a not-for-profit
consumer organization that helps to advocate and protect consumer rights
when purchasing funeral services and merchandise in Minnesota.
They can be contacted at
900 Mt. Curve
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Last Revised: 10/31/2013
||Expert Author: Sara
Sara is the Editor in Chief
for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death
care industry in the US for the last 5 years.