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HOUSE, No. 351

By Mr. Kennedy of Brockton, petition of Thomas P. Kennedy relative to the payment of funeral expenses of indigent persons. Health Care.



The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

In the Year Two Thousand and Three.


      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Chapter 117A of the General Laws, as appearing in Section 4 of Chapter 225 of the Acts of 1991, is hereby amended by striking out section 10, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:—
Section 10. In case of the decease of a poor and indigent person, the commonwealth shall pay for the expense of the funeral and burial of such person a sum not exceeding two thousand dollars; provided, however, that the total expense of the funeral does not exceed three thousand dollars; provided, further, that the cost of such funeral and burial shall include payment for a suitable grave marker, bearing the decedent’s name and dates of birth and death, if known; and provided, further, that any payment made by the commonwealth shall be reduced by whatever resources may exist in the estate of said person. The funeral director engaged in conducting the funeral and burial of said deceased person shall perform the services and furnish the materials in connection therewith as follows:— removal of the body; procuring of death certificate and burial permit; embalming and dressing of body; furnishing suitable burial garment; furnishing suitable casket, bearing metal plate with name of deceased engraved thereon; furnishing outer case of pine wood; furnishing hearse for transporting body of deceased to cemetery; furnishing conveyance for transporting to such cemetery the immediate family of the deceased; procuring of a clergyman, of the religion that the deceased professed, to officiate at the funeral; procuring a burial place for the body of the deceased; opening the grave obtaining the use of internment devices and notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, procurement and placement of the aforementioned grave marker.