Am I the one who pays because he had no assets and no burial plans?
You are not legally responsible for the costs of his burial.
Good luck to you.
Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as legal advice can only be provided in circumstances in which the attorney is able to ask questions of the person seeking legal advice and to thus gather appropriate information.
Attorney Haber is correct, you have no legal obligation to bury your brother. If he had no assets the funeral home may make and application for funds from Medicaid to bury him, its not much but it will provide the basics.
I agree with the other responses, but I would add that you should make sure that there were no assets. Your brother may have had something that you were unaware of. I say this because you stated that you had not seen him in years. You might check with the IRS or State of Michigan to see if he reported any income. You might also have his mail forwarded to make sure that he was not receiving investment statements, etc. There are also websites you can check to make sure that he did not have any assets that are being held by the State.
If he truly had nothing, then his burial would be taken care of by the government.
You are not responsible for the cost of burial.
This answer is not specific legal advise. No attorney client relationship has been established. It is general commentary on the question presented, without the benefit of a full disclosure of all relevant facts. Seek an in-person consultation with a licensed professional.