Next of Kin Hierarchy
In order to qualify as next of kin in this situation, a person must be over 18 years old. The relationships listed below usually apply to biological, adoptive, half-, and step-relations equally.
•Nieces and nephews
•Grand-nieces and grand-nephews
•Aunts and uncles
•Great-grandchildren of Grandparents
•Fiduciary (a legally appointed trustee)
In some states, a close friend who is familiar with the deceased’s wishes may qualify as next of kin if no one on the above list is available or able.
Are there any Social Security Death Benefits to help cover the cost of a funeral?
There is a $255 lump sum Social Security death benefit that those who qualify can claim. This one-off payment of $255 is made to a surviving spouse or child. Monthly benefits may be available if one meets eligibility requirements. You can contact Social Security on 1-800-772-1213 www.socialsecurity.gov
Do Veteran’s receive benefits to assist with funeral costs?
A veteran is entitled to free burial in a national cemetery. This includes gravesite, opening and closing of the grave and perpetual care for an honorably discharged veteran, spouse, or dependent child and a free headstone or grave marker.
Contact the Veteran’s Affairs Office on 1-800-827-1000 for more information.