If a decedent’s estate does not have enough assets to pay all the claims made against it, Minnesota law prioritizes payment of the decedent’s “reasonable funeral expenses” before MA claims. In probate, reasonable funeral expenses are paid from the estate before you can recover MA payments from the estate.
The following funeral expenses policy provides a standard for determining which funeral expenses can be paid from an estate before your MA claim when you are administering probate, having been appointed personal representative because of your standing as a creditor. You must adopt either the following funeral expenses policy or your own policy that is in accordance with the following policy.
Interpret this policy or your own policy in a way that is sensitive to cultural and religious practices. This policy does not apply to county-paid burials and does not apply to MA eligibility determinations.
Reasonable funeral expenses include the following:
Reasonable costs for the following items are paid before MA claims:
Expenses for these items are not paid before MA claims:
If a decedent has a prepaid burial trust, the funds must “be distributed for the payment of the at-need funeral goods, funeral services, burial site goods, or burial site services selected, with any excess funds distributed to the beneficiary’s estate.” Minnesota Statutes, section 149A.97, subdivision 3a, clauses (9) and (10). A decedent may also have a life insurance policy designed to pay for funeral expenses.
If a decedent’s funeral costs exceed the dollar amount of prepaid burial trust or insurance funds, then you must analyze the funeral costs that exceed that amount using this funeral expenses policy or your own policy that accords with this one. Any remaining funds in a prepaid burial trust after funeral expenses have been paid are distributed to the estate and are subject to MA recovery.
Online crowdfunding and fundraising campaigns to pay for a deceased’s funeral expenses are increasingly common. Accounts set up to pay for a person’s funeral costs after a person dies are not part of the person’s estate and are not subject to MA estate recovery.
Minnesota law does not prioritize reasonable funeral expenses before MA claims in a decedent’s special needs trust or pooled trust. Upon an MA member’s death, the Special Recovery Unit (SRU) at DHS works directly with any SNT or pooled trust and applies the policy listed above to determine which funeral expenses will be allowed and disallowed.
See Minnesota Statutes, section 501C.1205, subdivision 3, for special needs trusts and Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.056, subdivision 3b, for pooled trusts.Report/Rate this page